Our First Graduating Class!0
The inaugural Backyard Naturalists class came to a close on May 16, 2012. The 8-week pilot program, which was held at Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, North Carolina was a great success. It was a learning experience for everyone who was involved and thanks to a wonderful group of children and hardworking staff we are now able to refine our curriculum and approach in order to improve upon our offering for the next group of students later this year. We conducted video interviews with each student at the beginning and end of the session. In addition, we also asked a series of questions at the end of each class to determine what was and wasn’t working each week, which the student followed up with in their journals. The feedback that we’ve received from the children and their parents has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve also heard reports of student science grades improving and perhaps more importantly, most of our young naturalists now feel more comfortable playing in the forest.
Many came to the program with reservations about what they might find out in nature or if it was safe to play there. Now many of these same students have gained the courage needed to explore on their own and have attained a better understanding of how to use science, photography and journaling to record and understand their discoveries.In the coming days we will be sharing videos, student feedback and other findings from the pilot program so that those of you who aren’t able to get involved with a course right now might be able to put some of the techniques into practice at your home with your own children.
Most of all, I would like to thank our wonderful, very first graduating class of Backyard Naturalists! You will always be special to us the first group and we’re so glad to have had the opportunity to be a part of your journey. Thank you for all that you’ve taught us.
Program Coordinator & Creative Director