The Bird School Project uses outdoor experiential learning to inspire students and teachers to develop a scientific understanding and appreciation of their local environment.
We commit to:
Inspire curiosity, connection, and authentic inquiry in the outdoors.
Equip students and teachers with the tools needed to conduct meaningful science outdoors.
Provide memorable experiences for students and support for educators to continue this work.
Create a culture where exploration, science, and stewardship are cool and accessible to all.
We envision a world where:
- All people have a foundational understanding of the natural world and how we may live responsibly with the planet.
- All students have the opportunity to explore their curiosities about the natural world and understand how to conduct their own self-guided learning.
- Teachers are comfortable with and excited about taking their classes outside to learn.
- Schools are a natural haven that promote outdoor learning, informed science, and stewardship.
A need for environmental literacy
In 2015, state superintendent of public instruction, Tom Torlakson, approved a Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. The release of this document was in response to the increasing disconnect between youth and the environment, with the goal of, "educating every California student in, about, and for the environment."
The blueprint for EE was released on the heels of California's adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). NGSS calls for deep understanding of science concepts. The key to this style of education, identified in NGSS, is direct exploration.
A need for accessible programming
Limited school resources, transportation constraints, and a lack of time and support often prevent students from connecting directly with the environment. However, the schoolyard and backyard have ample potential for delivering exciting opportunities for learning and exploration. We simply need to learn how to utilize those spaces for education. Bird School works to meet that need.
A need for positive nature connection culture
When students, particularly those in urban and suburban environments, are exposed to fun outdoor experiences, they often provide positive feedback about their experiences. There is an inherent yearning for humans to connect with the natural world yet, in an increasingly technological world, that connection often takes a back seat. With enthusiastic instructors, high-quality tools, and an engaging curriculum, we are showing students that spending time outside together can be fun and worthwhile.