A group of fifth grade students studying the impact of their school on the environment are raising money to rebuild the local ecosystem.
Today, a wire fence separates Madison’s Trust Elementary and its grass field and playground from the surrounding woods in Brambleton, Virginia. Several years ago, before the school was built, the are was all forest. The students found that many species were displaced by the construction.
The is the first year that Madison’s Trust has been open. Teachers wanted students to participate in a challenge that would use project based learning to help them take ownership of the new school. Fifth grade teachers assigned a project that has direct impact on their lives and their surrounding environment.
They began with Audubon Naturalist Society representatives speaking to students about the wildlife that had lived on the land the school now occupies. They spoke of the fragile balance of ecosystems.
Each student is thoroughly researching an animal. The project involves creating artwork of their assigned species, which will be auctioned, raising money for supplies the students will purchase to help animals reestablish habitats.
“They want to put things in place for future students at the school,” said fifth grade teacher Amanda Brown. “In future years we hope to extend the habitat we rebuild into a nature walk around the entire school and an outdoor classroom.”