In Oct. 24 IssueRussell County NewsBy Kim Graham, RCN Reporter
Take a gorgeous fall day at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, add 272 Russell County 4th graders, nine activity stations and the result is the 3rd annual Outdoor Adventure Field Day.
“In our 3rd year, the field day has gone great,” said Amanda Patrick, Environmental Education/Outreach Specialist Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery. “We’ve had beautiful weather, great presenters, wonderful teachers, and awesome kiddos – all the elements to make it an exemplary event.”
Teachers trekked their 4th grade classes from across the county last Tuesday to introduce their students to interactive science education pursuits.
“This field day is an asset to our curriculum,” said Audra Roberts, Teacher Union Chapel Elementary School. “It’s a good hands-on learning activity outside the classroom.”
Presenters travelled from as far as Owensboro to participate and lend their expertise to the event co-sponsored by the hatchery, Russell County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Friends of WCNFH.
From the make-up of soils, to identifying pond critters, fiber weaving, and air quality, 4th graders learned through participation in activities presented by many local and statewide organizations.
“The students make real life connections to the services offered in the community and how they connect to science,” Roberts said.
Children participated in a project that helped them understand gas mileage for various cars and its effects on air quality as well as economy.
“The kids are great,” said Sara Gilbert, KY Department of Environmental Protection Division of Air Quality. “I think they enjoy the activities. It fun and it gets them up and moving.”
At another station, they learned about gardening and different processes for growing plants.
“I thought the kids were very insightful. They were right on the mark,” said Matt Robins, co-owner Triple Creek Berry Farm. “One young man realized the concerns of the expense involved with irrigation and hydroponic growing systems.”
The big hits seemed to be getting to pet rabbits brought in by Sue Duncan, a ranger at Big South Fork and lip balm they made with Jason Hodge from Kentucky Dept. of Agriculture.
“There’s been more hands on activity this year at the field day,” said Jennifer Hardwick, Russell County Soil and Water Conservation District.
At the end of the day students and teachers left not only better educated about the environment but also with goodie bags full of posters, pencils and other fun educational items donated by presenters and sponsors.
“I think this is one of the best events we have here at the hatchery,” said James Gray, Project Leader WCNFH. “Hopefully, it opens the kids’ eyes to something they don’t get an opportunity to see within confines of the classroom.”