Outdoor Experiences Bring Students Alongside Professionals in the Field

May 4, 2023

May 4, 2023 | NCESD 171

Students sketched the landscape using charcoals supported by a local artist.

The NCESD expanded the STEAM in the Field programing this year!

This program brings local students out in the field at Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife areas near them to work alongside the professionals that are doing science and taking action everyday.

Warden middle school students explore how climate change affects water supply in the Columbia Basin using a model.

Warden middle school students explore how climate change affects water supply in the Columbia Basin using a model.

Our expansion of this program included two new locations so we now have sites in Grant, Douglas and Okanogan counties. With the site expansion we were also able to serve eight school districts, four more than last year and we expanded to include middle school students when previously only serving fifth grade. Over 400 students took to the field this year with their teachers!

The driving question for each of the three sites focuses on how climate change is impacting the ecosystem in that area and what professionals in a range of roles do to lessen those impacts. Participating teachers are provided with materials to teach students about the events prior to their arrival on site and materials to use after the event back in the classroom.

Andy Townsend, Washington Department of Natural Resources, helps students collect data about the local forest.

Students and teachers rotate through multiple stations throughout the day. Each station is led by a professional or team of professionals working in the field. Participants use professional tools to collect data, plant native plants, create art that captures the field work, take surveys of plant and animal species as well as other activities. The event is an active one for all participants.

We want to extend a huge thank you to our partners: Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Washington Department of Natural Resources, Washington State Parks, Grant County Conservation District, Foster Creek Conservation District, WSU Extension, Methow Arts, Methow Beaver Project, Colville Confederated Tribes: Karen Capuder, Megan Rivard and Wade Troutman. We also want to thank our participating school districts: Brewster, Bridgeport, Oroville, Tonasket, Waterville, Palisades, Moses Lake, and Warden.

Related Stories