JEFFERSON COUNTY (KDVR) — Students of Jefferson County schools, specifically sixth graders, have been given the opportunity to learn in a very interesting classroom — the outdoors.
Founded in 1957 by Jefferson County schools, the idea was simple, effective and brilliant. Take the classroom outside.
“I went to Outdoor Lab as a six grader myself, and it was one of those moments even at 12 years old that it was life-changing for me,” said Ryan Bazz, Mount Evans Outdoor Lab principal.
Learning archery, in addition to honing their aim, the students are learning physics.
“It gives a chance to be in a different environment for once outside the school house, and it really gives them a chance to express themselves a bit more because it’s out of, well, I would say it’s out of the hands of their teachers for a little bit,” said Ethan Pearce, Outdoor Lab high school leader.
Under the watchful eye of social studies teacher Michael Hack, students from Drake Middle School are learning firsthand — and hammer — the power of inertia.
“Our geology, our ecosystems, force of emotion, newtons laws, we are reinforcing those back up there than to. It gives the kids something to grab onto,” said Hack.
In wintertime at the Mount Evans Campus, every day is a snow day. For an entire week, the sixth graders eat, sleep and learn subjects such as science, math, social studies and history. Not behind a desk, but by doing,
“We went on an ecosystem hike. We were just showing the kids abiotic and biotic interactions, nonliving and living things in the environment,” said Jackson Spiwak, Outdoor Lab high school leader.
To get there is easy, just go down the hall, turn left and head to the Arapahoe Roosevelt National Forest.