Submitted by: Gene, Zack, Lauren, Stephanie, Graham of the “Hunger in the City Capstone”, Spring 2013
Our service this term has had an impact on us that really displayed the differences among young students. The students really respond to learning outside and discovering in a hands-on environment. Our field trip modules are very good at engaging all 5 senses from the kids and they seem to really enjoy it. Using these techniques on the farm, we find that kids from a variety of backgrounds and cultures respond to the material we present and are really engaged in the activities, regardless of previous exposure to the topics we present.
One interesting topic that came up in our class is how nature tends to help “tear down” barriers for people of all ages. Meaning, it allows people to find common ground in understanding and learning. We also noticed that kids tend to pay a lot more attention when they are outside. We often play small games in our field trips that have specific learning objectives in mind, but because the kids are having so much fun exploring and discovering on their own, with a little help and guidance from us field trip leaders, they forget that they are even learning. In short, it’s clear to us that learning about our world, surrounded by nature is the way learning was meant to be.