~This blog entry is brought to you from the electronic portfolio of CS8 student Lois Ortiz. Conserve School electronic portfolios connect student experiences to the school’s learning goals. Lois is from Hermitage, Tennessee where she is homeschooled.~
Conserve School Learning Goal: After successfully completing a Conserve School semester, a student frequently takes time for outdoor play and reflection.
In our science class, we recently chose our phenology spots, which are small areas in any of the non-developed places surrounding the campus. We will each monitor our spot, taking note of the phenological changes throughout the semester. I could never have anticipated how much fun this could be.
When we were turned loose to find our spots in one of our science classes, I walked to the back of the houses, and started blazing a trail. I was a bit worried at first, because I was under the impression that all of the forest looked so similar that I was bound to get lost, but I soon found that it was easier to navigate than most buildings. Every tree, every patch of moss, every set of tracks was completely unique. I continued exploring, until I came across a small area with partially melted snow, and a giant tree in the middle of it all. I knew immediately that I wanted to spend as much time as possible in this spot.
In the next few days, I went to my spot nearly a dozen times, rushing out there as soon as I was finished with classes or dinner. I would try to fall asleep at night, and all I could think about was that I wanted to go back. After I completely knew my area, I started visiting others’. It was so interesting to see the spots that had appealed to different people.
It’s refreshing to take a break from being indoors to just sit outside, not really doing anything in particular. I’ve noticed that it’s much easier to concentrate when I’m at my spot, that it’s given me a desire to learn more about Northwoods Ecology, and that it’s really helped me to reflect on the wonderful experience I’m having here.
~Lois Ortiz, Conserve School Semester 8
A few photos from Lois’s time at Conserve School
Conserve School provides a semester-long immersion for high school students in environmental studies and outdoor activities that deepens their love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation, and equips them to take meaningful action as environmental stewards. Thanks to the generosity of Conserve School’s friends and its founder James Lowenstine all accepted students receive significant scholarship support.