The Wisconsin Education Department held an Outdoor Education program September 3-5 for 53 fifth and sixth grade children at Camp Wakonda called Courage to Change. Wisconsin Conference Superintendent of Education Sue Nelson said, “It was neat to see the 5th and 6th graders experience nature: looking at the moon up close through a telescope, hitting the target with an arrow, seeing the patterns in a pinecone, and watching a tennis ball shatter after sitting in liquid nitrogen. My goal is for students to develop a deeper appreciation for God the creator and His nature.”
Educational research indicates that outdoor learning is quite beneficial to students because it helps them do better academically. Kids love the opportunity to touch, smell, climb, run, and just experience everything first-hand. Plus, being outdoor makes students healthier and happier, which also aids learning.
What are some of the benefits of outdoor learning?
1. Children tend to be more attentive and remember information better when they have learned out of doors
2. In outdoor settings children are more motivated to work in groups and this improves social skills
3. Outdoor environments provide the perfect place to have hands-on experiences, using various senses
4. Studies show outdoor education improves grades
5. Being outdoors aids learning by decreasing stress levels, and helps elevate mood, and emotions
6. Outdoor environments naturally inspire children to be more physically active
7. The tendency to behave better, even when back in the classroom, is improved with time spent out of doors
If you, or someone you know, are interested in learning more about Wisconsin Seventh-day Adventists schools, contact the Education Department at 920-484-6555, ext. 303.
Juanita Edge, Communication Director