Over the past school year, and outdoor learning center was designed by seventh graders. They wanted to develop a project that would benefit their middle school, Memorial Park.
The students collaborated with Larry Lesh, a retired Fort Wayne Community Schools educator who served as their advisor for building the outd9oor learning center as part of the eCybermission competition. The contest is web based and open nationally to middle school teams who must develop a solution to a community problem.
Memorial Park's team was comprised of four students, who interviewed with Lesh before being accepted. He said that approximately 20 students competed for the four positions.
Student motivation was pretty simple. They wanted to help their community, and get more experience with science. The project seemed deceptively simple, but required many calculations, trial and error, and teamwork. The skills they developed were not just related to science and math, but to writing and planning as well.
The idea for the fenced in outdoor learning center was to promote full sensory education and keep students from spending time with electronic devices.