Earth Day at Noel Primary School in McDonald County is a full day event, thanks to the support of the school’s principal, Dr. Deborah Pearson. She prepares months ahead of time, lining up events and speakers for the activities of this special day.
The fact that she allows a whole day to celebrate science is an exciting event. Students rotate to a variety of stations such as furs of Missouri mammals, planting plants that are native for a garden, hiking the schools nature trail and being able to touch and examine the skulls of the fur-bearing mammals of Missouri. Students also learned about the impact of trash and the benefits of recycling in an outdoor school setting.
The students were excited to see a five-lined skink while hiking the trails, and were delighted in the many skulls of Missouri mammals. For some reason the skull they commented on the most was the rat skull! The beaver ranked second with his amazing front teeth.
“Beavers chew on wood with those teeth,” exclaimed a bright second grader, who added, "They eat aquatic plants too!” Another student ran her hand over an elk antler and described the way it felt, “Hey that’s bumpy, not smooth!"
A special treat for the children was the hatching of the many chicks they had been incubating, and every room echoed with their peeping.
As the day ended and I prepared to leave, I was met by Dr. Pearson who commented on the success of the event and the importance of science in our schools,“It’s such a hands-on subject and the children delight in learning about the natural world around them."
Speaking as a Master Naturalist I must agree, learning about science is of utmost importance!