Lowndes County Schools Press Release:
Fifth-grade students at Westside Elementary recently spent three days learning on location. Their field trip took them to Jekyll Island’s 4-H Camp where they benefited from a variety of hands-on learning opportunities. The program, administered by UGA Extension, utilizes the island as an outdoor classroom.
The students participated in three required ecology classes: Beach Ecology, Maritime Forest Ecology, and Salt Marsh Ecology. In these classes, they visited each environment and learned about the plants and animals that live in them. The instructors taught the importance of barrier islands, sand dunes, freshwater sloughs, food webs, and tides. Students also took advantage of optional classes. They were able to compare and contrast the north and south end beaches. They collected samples from the water with dip nets and examined the organisms under a microscope. The students dissected a shark to study its anatomy and biology. They were able to learn about and hold several amphibians and reptiles that are native to the southeast with a special class on the life of sea turtles. They participated in a nighttime beach walk, ocean bingo, and a campfire evening.
Both teachers and students agree that the trip was an amazing learning experience. Fifth-grader Aubree Morey says, “I liked the field trip because it was educational and fun. I got to see turtles and hold snakes. I loved the trip so much.”