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Dr. Walkington & her class

Earlier this month, Dr. Candace Walkington took her students from her Integrated STEM Studies class to the Rory Meyer’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.  The students met for a guided tour of the Adventure Garden and learned about the Arboretum’s educational programming.  The Rory Meyer Adventure Garden is now open to the public, please go to the link here, http://www.dallasarboretum.org/visit/named-gardens-features/the-rory-meyers-children-s-adventure-garden, to learn more.

 

Please read experiences below shared from Dr. Walkington’s students:

“There are many things I got to explore and experience at my trip to the arboretum. One of the main things that probably stuck to me however, is how the Children’s Garden at the Arboretum incorporates various academic subjects into their activity centers and stations. For example the solar powered, wind powered, and water powered station focused on engineering. There was a station that focused on shapes and how math can be applied to living organisms through concepts of symmetry. There was a station in which children learned about how various grains and plants are used to make the food we eat, which pertains to the subject of biology. All in all, I loved that the arboretum covered a variety of subjects in a fun, hands-on way.”

IMG_0862“At the Arboretum trip, I learned so much.  I have visited the Dallas Arboretum before, but never the children’s garden.  I was amazed at how detailed and educationally enriching the different exhibits were.  It seemed like the arboretum has thought out every tiny detail that anyone could ever dream of in the garden.”

“At the Arboretum I learned that there are many ways which STEM can be incorporated into the classroom. There are different ways that science can be made interesting and engaging with the students. You are taken out of a classroom and into a fun, hands on experience that gets the children involved and interested.”

 “I learned from the Arboretum trip that there are activities at the Arboretum that include science in a way that would interest a child. Before the trip, I thought that the Arboretum only included gardens and activities that adults would enjoy. I liked seeing the Exploration Center because it was engaging and kept me entertained. This center is a good way to combine nature and science with technology in order to make learning more interesting not only for children but also for college-aged students as well.”

“I learned a lot from our visit to the Arboretum. For example, in the Plants are Alive Exhibit, I learned about the different parts of plants and how they work. I thought it was important how hands-on and interactive the Children’s Adventure Garden is because I assume young kids love playing in the exhibits and it made it a fun way to learn.”

“Children learn better when they have hands on activities to reinforce what they learn. Simply looking at flowers and plants does not force the children to think about what they are looking at. The children’s garden was beautifully organized, engaging and most importantly FUN!”

“The arboretum was an amazing and educational trip! I have never seen something so educationally enriching be so fun and engaging! At the arboretum I learned how STEM can be incorporated to make things interesting and engaging for kids at the site. It was also interesting to see the different aspects of the children’s garden be able to work for all ages. They had different things that you can do depending on your level of learning.”

IMG_0820 “I learned that there are many different ways to teach a lesson outside of the classroom. I learned that the arboretum is a great place to follow through with real life examples after learning about a topic in the classroom. It gives the kids something to look forward to after learning something new.  My favorite part of the arboretum was seeing all of the learning activities that were in the children’s garden. Each section of the garden had activities that prompted intellectual curiosity. The math, technology, engineering, and science in each division of the garden was separated by age group. This would be helpful when bringing a class to the garden. It would enable the teacher to focus in on one section based on age, and make a lesson plan. Overall the arboretum was beautiful and I could tell that it would be a great place to bring an elementary class!”

“I learned quite a lot. I learned that the Arboretum offers a colossal amount of scientific, math, engineering and technological information. Personally, I got to learn more about water-powered engineering and erosion. I felt like I paid more attention to the educational and structural components of the garden rather than the actual intended j information.  I loved the trip because I got to interact and observe numerous stations and exhibits first hand, like the tornado simulator. Also, I loved the tour itself; the guide was super informative as well as engaging.”

“During our visit to the Arboretum, and specifically the Children’s Garden, I learned about the amazing interactive displays available for field trips and to the public. Specifically, I really enjoyed the Kaleidoscope Gallery’s displays on the Fibonacci sequence in nature.”

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“I enjoyed my time at the Arboretum! I learned the importance of educating children from an early age about the world around them, because, as our guide explained, many children grow up without exposure to the elements, and thus they aren’t comfortable exploring their natural environment. From the baby garden to the engineering section, the arboretum posed several opportunities for hands-on interaction for children to experience as they grew.  I enjoyed that, as “teachers”, we were able to experience the exhibits firsthand, interacting with them much as our “students” would. Planning exercises around the exhibits requires more than observation; it was essential that we get an opportunity to touch and manipulate the exhibits to see how the children would do the same.”

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