While the rest of Windmill Springs's student body was working in classrooms, the sixth grade classes were hiking trails, identifying plants and animals, and learning about composting. For five days and four nights, sixth grade students attended science camp at Walden West in Saratoga. Students spent their days with naturalists, exploring different environments and gaining an understanding of appreciation for the natural world, at the same time learning social skills and gaining a greater sense of personal responsibility and independence.
Students learned about a variety of topics, connected to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core standards, including photosynthesis, erosion, interdependence, and astronomy, all through hands-on activities and experiences. The games, activities, and explorations were so engaging that students sometimes forgot that they were learning!
Nights were spent in cabins with students from other schools. In this new social setting, students made new friends and practiced leadership and teamwork.
Students returned to Windmill Springs Friday afternoon, decked out in their new Walden West gear and full of stories to tell about their great experiences at camp. This year's fifth graders are now even more eager for their turn to go to camp next fall.