It was an amazing adventure for the girls in seventh grade who returned to Stuart on Friday from their trip to upstate New York where they visited Espous Meadows at the Hudson River Estuary, Sprout Creek Farm, Camp Mariah and the Roosevelt Library and Museum at Hyde Park. This trip functioned as a kickoff for their upcoming PBL (Project Based Learning) unit, "Off the Grid."
While at Esopus Meadows, the girls learned about the Hudson River where they developed an understanding of the need for clean drinking water. They donned waders and seined the river, collected water, looked at microinvertebrates and painted with watercolor in a style inspired by the Hudson River School. The girls then ventured to Camp Mariah where they were treated to an animal presentation and had the opportunity to touch and hold two different snakes and pet a giant tortoise. The Camp Mariah staff took us on a night walk and we used our hearing, smell and night vision to get a sense of how animals hunt in the dark. After roasting marshmallows for s'mores and sharing their talents with each other, the girls headed to bed.
The next morning's wake up was early! Half of the group headed to Sprout Creek for morning chores and the other half of the group learned survival techniques with the Camp Mariah staff. The girls learned survival techniques to survive in deciduous forest biome which they will apply to their PBL biome project. We met up for a delicious breakfast of pancakes (made by some of our girls), farm fresh eggs and tangelos. The girls split into groups and toured the farm with Sprout Creek educators. It was a beautiful day! The girls made homemade pasta, saw a two-day-old goat and a newly born calf, walked to the cow pasture, and grabbed eggs from the chicken coop. After eating the pasta for dinner, the group split again so everyone could have a chance at chores and learn survival skills.
The girls even had a surprise visit from former Stuart Headmistress, Sr. Frances de la Chapelle! Many of the girl remember Sr. de la from when they were in kindergarten!
On Friday, after breakfast and a special birthday treat for Ms. Habicht, the group ventured to Hyde Park to learn about the Roosevelt family. The girls had time to tour the museum which included a kitchen set up for fireside chats and a section dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt. After a pizza lunch, the girls had a tour of Franklin Roosevelt's house. We saw his library, bedroom (including the dog bed), and sitting rooms. The girls also learned that Eleanor Roosevelt was a fierce woman who fought for social justice.
With all of their newfound survival skills, farm experience, and water education, the girls are ready to kick-off their 7th Grade PBL, "Off the Grid!"See photos from the trip in the gallery.