For Lower School Science Teacher Laura Pupillo, any time of the year is an excellent time to explore the environment around us. So this week, she led students on a nature walk that will become a monthly endeavor to complement the various units in science. The location? Polk Pond!
While traditionally thought of as the place where the first senior accepted into college gets tossed and where the senior boat races make a splash, every other day of the year, it’s a vibrant ecosystem for classes in all divisions and disciplines to explore.
Pupillo led Junior Kindergarten students on a journey to find several organisms that live in or near the pond. They ventured out with clipboards to look for and check off on their clipboard a frog, dragonfly, damselfly, algae, water, rocks, flowers, and a water insect – the kind that floats on top of the water. One student wanted to find a water dinosaur, but those don’t exist on this campus. After a briefing on what not to do (get in the water), students were ready to explore!
Pupillo shared, “The walks provide a way to explore the campus, observe seasonal changes, and see places they’ve never been. Being more observant about nature and learning what’s there allows them to look for specifics, which helps them be more analytical in their daily lives.”
Future walks may include the wetland area on the Warson Road side of Upper School, a trip to the stream near the MAC, the front lawn of the Middle School to explore fall trees, and, of course, our Beasley garden Monarch Waystation. Visiting those locations during different seasons will yield different observations.
Pupillo added, “We don’t do field trips in JK, so these are like walking field trips. And on a campus like ours, we don’t need to travel anywhere; there is so much right here!”