Our math teacher, Hans Manske, was challenged to create an Enrichment curriculum for Remote Summer Session that could encourage students to engage with the natural world in their backyards or neighborhoods. His inspiration came from his love of nature and the beautiful trees surrounding Rock Point School.
To kick-off last week, Hans shared this TED talk by Suzanne Simard called “How trees talk to each other.” Simard’s 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to the astonishing discovery that trees can communicate, sometimes over vast distances. After discussing the video, Hans encouraged students to go outside, find a tree, and sit under it a while to contemplate everything it must have endured and survived over the time it has been alive. Students then reconvened and shared their thoughts about their tree.
Over the next several weeks, these shady spots will serve as inspiration for several activities, from plant identification to estimating tree height using trigonometry. We can’t wait to see how students can be inspired in their backyards!