The Panther Press

Outdoor Education Engages Learners

School NewsGreg Higgins
In an outdoor classroom at Sky Ranch, North Lamar fifth graders take notes on the physical structure and function of an alligator.

In an outdoor classroom at Sky Ranch, North Lamar fifth graders take notes on the physical structure and function of an alligator.

North Lamar fifth graders from Aaron Parker Elementary and Bailey Intermediate spent three days and two nights in Van, Texas, at one of the nation’s premier outdoor learning facilities. Sky Ranch, located in the Piney Woods of East Texas, engages students in learning by making rigorous academic content interesting and fun.

Sky Ranch’s Outdoor Education curriculum provides multiple learning tracks that include science, history and team building/leadership. The curriculum is specifically designed to address the current TEKS, ensuring the full range of academic content aligns with the rigorous standards required in the formal classroom. Content is delivered in specially designed outdoor classrooms, by high energy and entertaining instructional staff called Funologists.

“Students took a variety of courses at Sky Ranch such as expeditions, limnology, ranch life, forces in nature, and the like,” said Parker science instructor Christie Skidmore. “They were able to experience things that they would normally never be exposed to, such as riding a horse, petting snakes, going through the water cycle, testing water samples, testing air resistance, and experiencing camp life.”