The Boyce Thompson Arboretum received a grant from the Governor’s Office to expand Summer Learning opportunities. Students at John F. Kennedy elementary school in Superior have been enjoying a daily summer school program that teaches them about plants and life sciences.
Due to the generosity of the grant award, the Arboretum was able to expand this Summer School program to all students in the area to attend on special days. The program included a half day of activities, learning and a snack.
Education director John Bello explained that students participated in nature walks and journaling activity where students employed observation skills and their senses. They measured the current weather conditions to understand how to use scientific instruments to draw conclusions; they learned how to identify plants in the wild through using observations; and students learned about the plant life cycle through growing beans in small plastic bags and the different parts of a plant.
“Some of their favorite activities were nature walks as they connected with nature through observing lizards, butterflies, different types of birds, spiders, and bees. Another favorite activity was looking at the different types of leaves in the greenhouses where they practiced measuring, counting, and writing descriptions of the leaves shape, size and color,” he said.