Students around the Columbia Valley have had the chance recently to take their classroom outside as part of a Winter Wonder program brought to the schools through Wildsight.
Tumbling down snowbanks may be nothing new for the students, but learning about the science of snow puts a whole new spin on it for them.
A class of students at Eileen Madson Primary School had a fun visit from one of the Wildsight educators, Sanne van der Ros.
Van der Ros said she loved going out to the schools and sharing new information with the students.
“I hope the children take the enjoyment of being outside and the wonder of the natural world around them. Also the amazement of what animals do to cope with winter because it is such a hard season to deal with,” she said.
Van der Ros went on to say she hopes the time spent at the schools will help the students appreciate what they have around them in anticipation that they will look after the environment.
The students learn about the ecology of cold, how plants and animals adapt to winter, and why they need winter— during half day field trips to the great outdoors.
“This year Wildsight educators are providing Winter Wonder to 115 classes,” said Monica Nissen, Wildsight’s Education Program Manager. “It’s a record with more bookings than ever. And that’s probably because this year we are able to deliver Winter Wonder free of charge thanks to generous additional support from the Columbia Basin Trust” (CBT).
Nissen said core funding of Winter Wonder has always been provided by the CBT. What’s new this year is having the capacity to offer the popular field trips for no charge.
“Winter Wonder just gets more and more popular every year,” Nissen said. “Kids love to get outside and learn about nature by being in it—and teachers appreciate the way our programs connect to their science objectives for each grade.”
Winter Wonder curriculum has been honed over several years — so students in each grade can derive the most learning from activities, games and talks.
“I want parents to know that the Columbia Basin Trust is supporting this valuable program and, just for fun, to ask their kids what they learned in Winter Wonder this year,” Nissen said. “They might be surprised how much science can intersect with snow.”