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An Independent School in Littleton, MA serving Students Ages 15 Months–Grade 8

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Student curiosity piqued in nature

Student curiosity piqued in nature

By Jay Scheurle |

Student curiosity piqued in nature

We are fortunate to have a superb Nature Education program at Oak Meadow, led by Naturalist, Kyle Chamberlain (Mr. C.), who works with students in Kindergarten through Eighth Grade. Our school campus is surrounded by incredible resources, including the Cobb Woods Reserve, located a short walk from our campus. Each week, students are immersed in a curriculum that is rich, engaging, and highly relevant in our world today.

This week, the Upper Elementary students made the short trek to Cobb to learn about water testing using samples from the large pond. The sampling today provided a “visual primer” on the water quality of local areas. “My Upper Elementary curriculum is really big on the community and what is around us, as a way to prepare the students for the work they will do in Middle School,” Mr. C. shared with me.

The class prepared for this study last week by making filters, talking about how the “clear” water they were using wasn’t actually clean (bacteria, viruses, chemicals, etc.). Using various safe materials to test water quality, the students were able to have a visual representation of color indicators for “healthy” versus “not healthy” water.

In the woods, the students gathered water and made several tests. The students found that the pond had a high acidity level, in comparison with their test of a nearby stream. Mr. C. asked the students to think about what that might mean. “Maybe it is because the pond has more living things in it,” said one student. “Maybe it is because the stream is moving and that reduces the acidity.” “Those are all good observations,” Mr. C. shared. “And I am a bit concerned about that acidity level, and we will explore that more when we return to Cobb again. It was a question that was left unanswered for the moment. That piqued everyone’s curiosity, and will help engage students once again when they return to Cobb.