At Ithaca Montessori school we are excited to share with you our very own and exclusive Outdoor Science Lab (OSL) . This Lab is only available for our Kindergartners at present. The Outdoor science Lab is a place where children can explore nature and find new and wonderful things that they will treasure for all their lives.
In Charge of the OSL is Heather Frost a teacher from the Elm room, Herself and Sarah Wharton ( a former, very loved Teacher of IMS) both had the idea to start this wonderful program and grew it into what it is today. Sarah carries on this program where she lives now in Tennessee.
So lets find out what the OSL really is!
The Outdoor Science Lab
“The child who has felt a strong love for [their] surroundings and for all living creatures, who has discovered joy and enthusiasm in work, gives us reason to hope that humanity can develop in a new direction.” Maria Montessori
Continually inspired by Maria Montessori, we thrive to make our school a beautiful, engaging, and dynamic place for children to grow into educated, critical-thinking, peacemakers and caretakers of the earth. Our curriculum is rooted in real life experiences, and interaction with the natural environment provides some of the richest opportunities for our young community of learners.
What was, what is…
What started as pencil sketches and big ideas just three years ago has become the Ithaca Montessori School Edible Forest Garden. Formally an empty patch of lawn, this space on the back hill is now home to an infant accessible outdoor playspace, a Primary Outdoor Classroom, and thriving garden that leads to a trail system in the forest! Our campus has turned into a living, thriving ecosystem where children engage all their senses, experience the beauty of nature and learn how to care for the earth.
And what will be…
This school year we will bring our garden shed to life! This will include the installation of a dynamic living roof and establishing a rain barrel catchment system. Creating this space will attract additional bees, butterflies, and other insects for pollination, increasing overall biodiversity on our campus!
Three Parts of a Whole
Edible Forest Garden
Our Edible Forest Garden consists of multiple fruit tree-based poly-cultures where the children engage with the plants, animals, insects, and soil that make up this compelling and productive ecosystem.
Our outdoor classrooms are bustling with activity! They have become an extension of our indoor classrooms where the children are invited to practice their works from all areas of the classroom. This space has also presented a unique opportunity for the children to learn new skills such as hammering, using a wheelbarrow, and sowing seeds directly into the earth.
Forest Trail System
We have developed a trial system through our forest where the children are immersed into the many ecosystems surrounding our campus! Here they discover the tracks of deer in the mud, practice balancing on downed logs, and watch as the ever mysterious water striders skim across the top of the stream.
The Outdoor Science Lab also submits a blog for you to enjoy and get some more information about what they do on a day to day basis. Click on link below to find out more!
Thank you for learning about our wonderful program 🙂