Research has shown us that kids who have more experience in nature gain tremendous benefits, including a greater attention span, better classroom behavior, and a positive impact on academic scores. Some studies have shown lower obesity rates in children that spend more time outside, and learning about the outdoors while being outdoors can be beneficial to all types of learners. – Kate Quarles, Maymont Manager of Environmental Education
As summer winds down, the Environmental Education staff at Maymont is getting ready for another great school year, teaching thousands of students about the natural world in onsite and offsite programs. Most programs include one of Maymont’s animal ambassadors as a part of the lesson which is a fun, attention-grabbing way to help students make a connection with the program topic. In our Life Cycles programs, for instance, we review butterfly metamorphosis which most kids have mastered in the classroom. They really take notice, though, when they are able to see (and touch!) a beetle, which undergoes a transformation similar to the butterfly, at the larva and adult stages. It’s important that the kids understand that this incredible change is not exclusive to caterpillars! Turtles, owls, snakes and now alligators also assist educators in our programs, and for many, this is their first close encounter with a wild animal. Using the outdoors helps students make connections between themselves and the world that surrounds them. Learn more about Maymont’s educational field trips at http://www.maymont.org/school-programs.