Science Inquiry Outdoor Classroom
Science Inquiry in the Outdoor Classroom Science Inquiry in the Outdoor Classroom brings 4th-12th grade students out of the classroom and into the field to perform hands-on, small-group, inquiry-oriented science investigations. Capstone participants will volunteer alongside natural resource professionals as Science Mentors for the non-profit science education organization, Wolftree Inc. Focusing on underserved schools, Wolftree's student-centered teaching method gives young learners a chance to explore freely, ask questions, and design their own investigations.
Science Inquiry in the Outdoor Classroom trains participants in the process of Science Inquiry and the Socratic Dialogue. During this course, Capstones engage in their own process of inquiry - teaching themselves how to teach. Because Portland State students come from a variety of different backgrounds, each student is expected to actively contribute their unique skills and perspectives to the community of science educators.
Wolftree's watershed ecology programs are offered at several field sites in NW Oregon as well as in school classrooms. Whether in the field or in the classroom, Capstone volunteer days will be challenging and rewarding, and each Capstone should come away from the class with a sense of just how much he or she can impact the life of a young learner in a short time.
Each quarter, Capstone participants tackle a project commissioned by Wolftree staff, to help Wolftree continue to improve their programs. Past projects have included a mentor training manual, a mentor training video, various rubrics to assess the quality and outcomes of Wolftree's
programs, a guidebook for K-12 students working on yearlong Wolftree projects, and others. Most of these projects are now in use in Wolftree's programs.