ERIC Number: EJ722759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 2
The Prairie Science Class: Pioneering a Trail in Interdisciplinary Learning
Ernst, Julie; Ellis, Dave
Science Scope, v28 n7 p16-19 Apr-May 2005
What happens when an old farmstead, native tall-grass prairie, and middle school students are mixed together? Would one guess learning? That is exactly what is happening in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where students from a rural middle school have joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to restore native tallgrass prairie. In the process, the lines between traditional subject areas are blurring as the local environment becomes the context for integrating science, math, and writing. Growing out of a dream of developing a school located on the prairie where children learn about the natural environment, this partnership is proving that integrated science makes sense. Today, 100 students attend school daily at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center (PWLC), a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site. These students, known as the Prairie Science Class, are discovering that using their local environment helps learning come alive and brings new meaning to their study of basic subject areas.
Descriptors: Wildlife, Animals, Middle Schools, Environmental Education, Rural Areas, Science Education, Mathematics Instruction, Writing (Composition), Interdisciplinary Approach
National Science Teachers Association, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782 (Toll Free); Web site: http://www.nsta.org.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Minnesota