Students spent half an hour at five stations where they made artwork of the waves at Pike Lake, learned about common and shared water, about runoffs and pollution, water quality testing, and fished for recreation.
“We all use water, fish use water, ducks use water, so we need to be mindful of it,” Nate Bosch, Director of KLAS, said.
To help students learn about water, KLAS brought in 53 Education Majors from Grace College, headed by Dean Laurie Owen, to spend the day working in their chosen fields and let the fourth grade teachers see aspiring teachers in action.
“Current teachers are getting empowered with the tools that they can bring back to their classrooms,” Bosch said.
He explained that the new techniques and supplies that upcoming teachers use can help current teachers in their daily routines. Getting out and being active with the children can help them learn as much as listening to a lecture.
“We think it’s important to get kids outside,” Anna Burke, program director for KLAS, said. The kids not only took lessons from the Grace College students, but have physical activity as well, with foot races and tag offered as part of the learning stations.
Rachale Kidwell and her roommate Lamarrue Blanco spent the day teaching fourth graders about water conservation and doing a race with them. Blanco said they recycle at home and they feel that it is important for younger children to understand how to protect their environment as well.
“We need water,” Kidwell said, “It is essential to our lives.”
“KLAS has been working with schools since 2008 to fit this events and programs like it into their curriculum; this year’s field day was made possible by sponsors including Louis Dreyfus Commodities, The Warsaw Breakfast Optimist Club, and The Paper Inc. Since fourth graders have a requirement to learn about natural history in Indiana, KLAS was able to tailor the program to the needs to the teachers, by teaching kids about native fish and the native environments in a positive and hands-on way.
“We want them to learn the facts and to get excited about the lakes,” Burke said.
The kids of Cheryl Miller’s fourth grade class from North Webster Elementary School, however, could only describe the experience as “awesome,” stating how much they enjoyed learning the new things about water conservation.