STEM Expeditions class learns to track animals
The New Albany-Plain Local School District's STEM Expeditions class, which began May 21, recently learned to track animals on the district campus in preparation for a trip across the country.
Sandra Willmore, the district's outdoor education leader, said the class teaches geology, wildlife tracking and digital photography. A $4,934 grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund paid for computer tablets and GPS binoculars for each student to use when collecting data.
The class includes 21 students entering grades 7 to 12 and one adult.
On June 13, the class met with Joe Letsche, an Ohio state park naturalist and tracker who taught them how to track animals. They planned to travel June 16 to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, where they were to spend two nights working with geologist Henri Sanville from Oregon State University. Students also planned to study with Irene Brady, a scientific illustrator and retired professor from Southern Oregon University; Joe Kreuzman, director of Coyote Trails School of Nature and a certified cyber tracker; and Dave Clayton, a wildlife biologist studying and tracking wolves and fishers in Oregon.
Willmore said students would share information about the trip through a blog, video posts and digital portfolios that could be accessed on the district website, www.napls.us.
All students in the STEM Expeditions class earn one high school credit in science and technology. Willmore said next year, the district wants to offer summer classes to provide up to two college credits from the University of Vermont for students and adults.