One of the many things that makes New Albany-Plain Local Schools a unique and innovative learning environment is access to the on-campus, 80 acre nature preserve; featuring woodlands, wetlands, meadows, ponds and streams. The preserve provides opportunities not just for recreation but an extended outdoor learning classroom for our students and community. The connection to nature and environmental science opportunities are endless.
The nature preserve is utilized by every grade level in the district and introduces educational opportunities for students that go beyond science and the environment. Teachers may use the preserve to introduce concepts in photography, English language arts and other subject areas that cross the curriculum. The preserve also provides opportunities for neighboring school districts, universities and organizations to expand learning.
The nature preserve supports many types of STEM programs. STEM Expeditions is an umbrella designation for courses and activities offered in the school district featuring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. These programs often use the nature preserve as a resource. Additional STEM courses and programs will be featured during the 2012-2013 school year that use the nature preserve for instruction.
NAPLS now has a home on the website to spotlight this tremendous resource and provide information on the nature preserve, educational resources and a place to share the stories of how the preserve is adding to the quality of the community and enhances the real-life educational experiences for all.
On the site a visitor can learn more about the activities and classroom use by students and teachers in the district, find additional resources on environmental and nature education, get involved by volunteering to help support the nature preserve and develop a deeper knowledge of environmental stewardship.
The nature preserve website was made possible thanks to NAHS Senior Nathan Hood. Working with Sandy Willmore, NAPLS Environmental Education and STEM K-12 Advisor, Nathan was able to design a website for the nature preserve to obtain his Eagle Scout Badge. As a Boy Scout, he was looking for an Eagle Scout Project that would assist the schools. While many Eagle Scouts have built physical structures for the school district in the past, Nathan was the first one to build something virtual.
Click on image below to visit the new site!