Springfield (Illinois)—Before Wednesday, Maia Ojugbele knew that coal was what Santa would bring her if she didn’t behave — but that was pretty much the extent of her knowledge of rocks, she said.
By noon Wednesday, the 10-year-old Sandburg Elementary School fourth-grader could rattle off the names of a handful of types of rocks and minerals. And exactly how fertilizer can contaminate groundwater. And very specific ways to recycle at school.
Ojugbele was one of nearly 900 students who spent their morning at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Earth Stewardship Day.
The annual event is designed to provide Sangamon County fourth-graders with a “good learning field trip” for the end of the school year, IEPA spokeswoman Maggie Carson said.
Students moved among a handful of stations for 20- to 50-minute presentations from a range of agencies and organizations, most with interactive activities to teach the students about aspects of recycling, natural resource preservation, types of animals and lessons about waterways, wetlands and other ecosystems.
Ojugbele’s teacher, Linda Daugherty, said Wednesday’s field trip is her favorite of the year because of how it ties in hands-on experience with her lessons in the classroom.
“I describe it as an outdoor classroom,” she said. “It’s great for kids who don’t always get opportunities to see these things otherwise.”
Read more at The State-Journal-Register. By Molly Beck.