Forest School

Wondering in the Woods

WWU students accompanied third grade students on the full-day field trip to the Gordon Carter Conservation site

The Program

Forest School was designed by the North Cascades Institute in 2018 with Bellingham Public Schools to renew the 50-year legacy of environmental educational programming at the Gordon Carter Conservation Site.In piloting the new program, NCI and BPS collaborated with WWU students to develop a series of lessons for classroom use before and after the full-day Forest School experience for third grade students

WWU students and third grade students sitting on the forest floor surrounded by sword ferns

Curriculum Development

As part of their SCED coursework and practicum, WWU preservice elementary teachers developed the lessons, implemented them in three different schools in the district, and utilized feedback from teachers and students to revise and improve the lessons. The Pre and Post Field Trip Lesson Plans are freely available to teachers whose classrooms will participate in Forest School on the program website.

SCED 480/490 students and their professor presented at the NSTA Conference in Seattle in December 2019

Presenting at NSTA

The lesson plans were shared in a presentation by Western students at the 2019 National Science Teaching Association conference in Seattle, WA. Several student co-developers also helped support Bellingham Area Teachers in implementing the lessons in their classrooms as part of their full-time student teaching!