• BEST IN STATE—Senior Courtney Schoen Lewis was named Best PR Student in Utah. Story
  • CROWBAR—Athletes compete in annual Crowbar backcountry race in Logan Canyon. CHRISTIAN HATAHWAY
  • HINDU FESTIVAL—Hundreds of Hindus and friends gather for annual Holi Festival of Colors in Spanish Fork. DANA IVINS
  • RAINBOW CELEBRATION—Holi celebrants joyfully paint themselves at Hindu festival. DANA IVINS
  • HUT! HUT! HUT!—ROTC teams compete in Ranger Challenge at Camp Williams. ALISON OSTLER. Story
  • SNOWBARD JAM—Boarders show their stuff on the Quad during Entrepreneur Week. CASSIDEE J. CLINE. Story
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  • WINTER A and the American flag over a snowy USU campus. WHITNEY PETERSON
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  • HIGH-HEELIN’ IT—Men in high heels and their female supporters walk a mile to protest sex abuse. TY ROGERS
  • ELK PICNIC—Elk and humans mingle at the winter refuge at Blacksmith Fork's Hardware Ranch. CARESA ALEXANDER. Story

Field Days provide hands-on learning for 4th-graders and teachers

August 30th, 2013 Posted in Education, Outdoors

By Lauren Petty

LOGAN – Utah State University’s Water Quality Extension (WQE) will host its Natural Resource Field Days beginning Sept. 9, marking its 30th year of providing quality scientific education for Cache Valley fourth-grade students and teachers.

Field days participants will engage in a series of hands-on learning activities at four stations focused on a variety of natural resource concepts including water, plants, wildlife and soil. Tiffany Kinder, education program coordinator for WQE, said the activities help students to better retain educational information.

“We found a significant increase in knowledge eight months following the field days,” said Kinder, who premised her thesis on the field days in 2010. “Our research showed us that the students weren’t only learning, they were actually retaining the information.”

Kinder said these tactile interactions directly involve students in the process of scientific discovery, enabling them to form their own inferences of the world around them.

“We also found evidence that the students were gaining environmental awareness,” she said. “So we’re not only influencing their knowledge, but their attitudes toward the environment.”

Brian Greene, a program coordinator for Utah Water Watch, said the field days also provide benefits for participating teachers.  “The field days provide valuable information for teachers that they will use throughout the school year,” Greene said. “Fourth-graders in Cache Valley will get to spend a day in Logan Canyon and experience environmental concepts in real life which they will later learn about in the classroom.”

The natural resource concepts demonstrated in the field days are among numerous subject areas that have been integrated through outdoor learning activities, providing students with the ability to acquire research, math and analytical skills as they explore scientific procedures.

Field days will be held Sept. 9-20 from 9 a.m. to 2:10 p.m. in Logan Canyon. Those interested in volunteer opportunities can visit the WQE website.


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