Sandy Spring Friends School



Fall Experiential Learning Activites

Fall Experiential Learning Activites

Our 140-acre campus, paired with beautiful fall weather and excellent teachers who understand the value of experiential learning, have provided many opportunities for our students to use our campus as an extension of their classroom. Read more about nature observation walks in the Lower School, hands-on lessons about sustainable agriculture in the Middle School, and an AP Statistics class's revisit of their Middle School "Barbie Bungee" experiment from the outdoor porch of the new US building.

Lower School

Our Kindergarten students have been enjoying several nature walks around the pond recently, where they have been using their close observation skills to view the changing leaves, landscape, and wildlife throughout the fall. Each student picked up one special small nature item that caught their eye to bring back to the classroom and share with their classmates. They also got to go on their annual "leaf walk" with IG staff! 

Kindergarten Leaf Walk
Kindergarten Leaf Walk

Meanwhile, 2nd grade students have been enjoying their tree and leaf study, learning about photosynthesis, and doing some first-hand observations about why leaves change colors in the fall. The 4th grade classes have also been spending time outdoors during their afternoon Adventure Adventures time; a recent adventure took them on a woods hike, with journaling by the stream.

Middle School

Our 7th and 8th grade classes both spent a day on the SSFS farm this fall in conjunction with their sustainability study of regenerative and sustainable agricultural practices. Students got an opportunity to put their knowledge about sustainability practices to work by helping interim SSFS Farmer Jon Berger plant cover crops that will provide nutrients for the farm's soil throughout the coming winter. 

Planting Rye Cover Crop
Planting Rye Cover Crop

Upper School

Some of our Upper School students remember the "Barbie Bungee" experiment from 8th grade Algebra, where they had to try to determine the length of a rubber band "bungee" that would get the Barbie doll close to--but not hitting--the ground. The Upper School AP Statistics students recreated the experiment, using new-found statistical knowledge of correlation, extrapolation, residuals, and linear and non-linear scatterplots. Students then used in-class data points to predict the number of rubber bands it would take to safely bungee the Barbie off of the third floor outdoor porch of the Upper School.

Meanwhile, the 9th grade US Physics classes headed outdoors to do some experiments with pumpkins and scooters, where they explored the relationship of force and mass times acceleration, calculating the forces acting on the moving pumpkins. 

And, let's not forget the Upper School students who kept in shape this fall by helping out on the SSFS farm in the "Farming for Fitness" P.E. class! Whether for physical fitness or intellectual endeavors, our 140-acre campus remains an integral part of life at SSFS. 

Hear more about hands-on sustainability education at SSFS in our podcast...


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