Fifth graders are learning about nature in the forest, and it has them talking.

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Talking inside the small laboratory at Wesley Forest is a sign that students in Mifflinburg Area’s Outdoor Education program are learning, interested, and fully engaged. 

“To see them so focused in and excited about learning, it’s a great sound,” said Joe Southerton.   He is a a retired district science teacher who helps run the outdoor initiative at the United Methodist Camp along Penns Creek in Hartley Township.

Southerton was supervising 23 students as they huddled around microscopes searching for microbic creatures like clam shrimp and cyclops, and larger creatures such as mayfly larvae. Any movement inside a drop of water on a slide or Petri dish generated lots of excitement and explanations.

“Oh, my. Aww, it just ran away,” Zachary Reed said to lab partner Mason Frank. “Dude, look right now. Hurry. Do you see it?”

“Woah,” Frank replied looking through the eyepiece. “Yeah.”

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