Students Experience School Outdoors

Kelly Cheng, Staff Writer

It isn’t rare to hear a classmate complain about their dull classes. Of course, being trapped in stuffy classrooms all day oftentimes leads to boredom for both students and teachers. However, certain classes provide opportunities that allow students to get outside and interact with nature. Classes that break out of the near prison-like atmospheres include AP Environmental Science, Photography, Physics, and others.

AP Environmental Science breaks the mold by allowing students to get outside for activities like creek-walking or just observing the environment around them.

Senior Gigi Axelrode appreciates the time she gets to spend outdoors during APES. “Rather than reading about the environment in books, it’s fun to go outside and actually experience it,” Axelrode said. “When we do labs it helps to be outside rather than sitting in the classroom doing analysis all day.”

“I wouldn’t say that really helps for learning, but it is really nice to get outside of the classroom. In classes like Geology and APES, though it’s kind of a necessity to be able to learn and experience getting outside,” Axelrode added.

Photography students are often sent out of the classroom to take pictures around campus.

Sophomore Camille Chow from the Photography class hopes to take more classes that allow students to get outside while learning. “Photo is really different from all of my other classes. It’s nice to get out of the classroom instead of staying indoors all period,” Chow said. “It helps because I know that a lot of people lose interest and stop paying attention during class so being interactive with the environment helps with that problem.”

Physics also takes students outdoors for experiments. Some of the labs include having students sprint up and down the football field bleachers in order to calculate average power, or challenging students to create strategies that allow an egg survive a 6 ft. drop with only a few straws, rubber bands, and tape.

“I like to get out and show applications of physics as much as possible,” Physics teacher Dan Shortenhaus said, “Running up and down the bleachers or the doing the egg drop contest and other contests outside is a really important part of seeing how physics applies to everyday situations or applies to design projects.”

Senior Grace Barosky enjoys the occasional outdoor Physics lab, saying that it helps her to grasp the material. “I really enjoy it. It helps me understand what we are learning and I’m able to take what I learn in the classroom to the outdoors.”

Some English teachers also require their students to spend time reading with outside.

Juniors Megan Coleman and Jack Garett spent an afternoon outdoors for the Physics Egg Drop lab.