On Wednesday mornings in AP Environmental Science, students check into class, and within minutes, find themselves walking the trails to their phenology spots. These spots are scattered around the inner campus, near lakes, in the old-growth hemlock forest, next to bogs, and tucked away in the woods.
While at their phenology spot, students make observations, ask and answer relevant researchable questions, and draw connections within different components of natural systems. Along with their recorded observations, students also complete a field sketch with each entry.
Each entry begins with the prompt, “I notice, I wonder, it reminds me of.” This simple phrase comes from The BEETLES Project, a program designed at the Lawrence Hall of Science to bring high-quality science education to outdoor education programs. BEETLES programs are founded on brain-based learning and work to promote an inquiry mindset in young scientists.