Below is an updated provided by school board member, Don Eenigenburg on our All Things Wonderfully Made science efforts:
Grant Christian needs to grow, it needs to take full advantage of the assets it has been blessed with and appeal to a greater community – all within our mission of presenting a Christian world view.
GCS has a fantastic setting for elevating its science program through the use of the diverse 35 acre venue we set on. We have fields, forests, and our little pond. This project focuses on equipping the school and teachers to study the natural science available in a way exclusive to us for schools in Newaygo County.
We are pursuing significant grants to “jump start” us in procuring equipment but we are not sitting back being totally dependent on those grants to move ahead. They would just allow us to move faster. For example, we will have an observational beehive installed in the 5th grade classroom yet this spring. We have a nature trail cut, and have a commitment from the Girl Scouts to build birdhouses along that trail.
We have used our venue to give school wide presentations. For example, last September we had a representative from Project Lakewell set up a “camp” alongside our pond and at the trail head to speak about the Native American history and culture. In late March we have a presentation scheduled with representatives from Wildlife Recovery on Birds of Prey.
Growth items that are requested via the grants include: digital microscopes (to investigate such things as microorganisms in the pond water), a digital weather station that not only tracks weather data, but allows prediction of probable lightening being present (for safe outdoor activities), spy cams for inside birdhouses, trail cams for wildlife, and even equipment for making some maple syrup.
We have already acquired some ruggedized laptops that the students can take to the field to observe and record observations as they learn to make scientific data sheets, write reports and do such things as plot data on graphs.
We are stressing specific methods of learning – Observational Learning and Problem Based Learning. These things really teach “learning to learn” and will benefit students throughout their school experience and into their respective careers.
We have a good thing started and would love to have you come on board with us to help build the momentum and increase our mutual satisfaction and enjoyment.
There is plenty of room to help too – for groups and for individuals, just ask or contact Don at 231 245-2625.