During Summer Camp at Eagle Academy PCS in Washington DC, students grew more intrigued by the simple yet complex ways of nature. Ecology Academy teaches students to better understand their environment. They begin to realize the importance of all creatures and to take better care of their environment, which ultimately leads to a better ecosystem for everyone.
Students would soon learn worms are very fascinating creatures and are, in a sense, nature’s backbone. I wonder, do worms have backbones? Although worms play a major role in decomposing food to create nutritious soil; they, in fact, do not have backbones because they are invertebrates.
Before observing the worms, students learned about the parts of a worm’s body. As a class, they examined graphics of a worm. Each part was labeled, including the intestine, gizzard, and mouth. On day 2 of “Wonderful Worms”, students finally were tasked with building compost homes for their worms. They used scraps of paper, food, and recycled bottles to build their worm composts. Even the instructors got in on the action, as they demonstrated how to build the compost and add the worms to their new homes. Because of the training provided by LET’S GO, instructors were confident and had a positive attitude about the entire Worms lesson. Way to go!
Later in this unit, students will also examine the structure and function of the critters that sting; bees. They will learn how this animal continues the plant life cycle by pollinating flowers. Students design and build their own pollinators to pollinate their fast plant flowers.
Ecology Academy students earn badges for each lesson’s specific skills to reward them for their progression and performance. One of the skill badges earned in Ecology is the curiosity badge. The curiosity badge promotes questioning and initiative. Students often get discouraged when they are not able to answer a given question. LET’S GO encourages students to continue being curious and strive to learn more. After moving the fast plants into their permanent homes, students then observe them every day. They are amazed by the very fast plant growth and begin to ask why and how.