BYNC Partnership with New Trier High School
During the 2011-2012 school year at New Trier High School, roughly 600 students enrolled in Biology and Geoscience classes were engaged in outdoor science labs held in the wilderness areas of the Watersmeet Prairie and the Skokie Lagoons. Biology classes at New Trier High School typically spend three to four weeks on a unit lesson learning about Ecology, and the teachers at New Trier decided it was time to incorporate an 'outdoor classroom' into their lesson plans.
BYNC began funding for “Science Curricula in Nature” (SCN) in early 2011, this gave teachers at New Trier another reason to start using local preserves and nature areas as classroom learning sites. Summer faculty-planning sessions led by BYNC president, Daniel Kielson, started off by introducing New Trier teachers to naturalists familiar with the Skokie Lagoons and Watersmeet areas. Workshops in the woods led by naturalists and BYNC prepared New Trier teachers for writing their curriculum lesson plans. Naturalists also gave suggestions for where to find the best 'outdoor classroom' locations having the most benefit to students.
New Trier High School has planned to continue the SCN program for their students enrolled in Biology classes.
"This program has already made a significant change to New Trier's teaching of Biology and I foresee the impact of student experiences outside the classroom with the volunteers of BackYard Nature Center continuing as we go through many more school years." -Robyn Ward, New Trier High School Science Coordinator
Our thanks to Robyn Ward who worked closely with BYNC and the biology teachers at New Trier giving guidance and helping to design and execute the program; Abigail Foerstner for believing in BYNC and telling others about our mission and programs; Karen Glennemeier for being our resident expert and advisor; and thank you to all the Science teachers at New Trier High School for believing in our mission and making an impact in children's lives each and every day.
- For more information on Science Curricula in Nature's New Trier High School timelines, objective details and for a list of active participants, Click here.
- Read about the students' experiences in the SCN program in the 2012 January/February issue of Quintessential New Trier magazine.