Dr. Ken Sauer School builds outdoor classroom

By Charles Lefebvre
May 21, 2019 - 4:53pm Updated: May 21, 2019 - 7:30pm


MEDICINE HAT, AB — Students at Dr. Ken Sauer School are preparing to take their learning to a new environment.

The school began constructing an outdoor classroom on Tuesday, with the goal of having it completed for use on Wednesday.

“(We) had the idea that it would be great to extend some of our flexible learning spaces from the indoors, outdoors and provide an opportunity to engage in learning in our environment outdoors,” said vice principal Carla Carrier.

Volunteers from Pembina Pipeline Corporation were involved in the construction of the classroom, which will include a circular bench and six picnic tables. It is being built on a concrete slab near the library.

The school received a $15,000 grant from Pembina towards the construction, and Carrier says it was also matched by the provincial government.

Carrier says the classroom will be available for every grade at the school (kindergarten to Grade 6), but will primarily be used for lessons in the science curriculum.

“We have the natural park area just adjacent to where the outdoor classroom is going up,” she said. “There’s going to be a great opportunity for kids to interact with the environment there, get some hands-on learning, experiential learning.

“The neat part about the park adjacent to us, the natural area is that it’s really connected closely to the prairie and geography.”

Carrier adds the goal is to help students learn in a way that’s most comfortable to them.

“It gives the children a neat opportunity to connect their learning to their community and geography in their community or near their community,” she said. “Lots of opportunity for movement, and getting some exercise, and nice for those kids that are hands-on learners, and can get moving with their learning a bit too.”

Carrier says the school is hoping to get lots of use out of the classroom space during the school year.

“It’s a great way to get movement in learning, get kids hands-on learning and a sense of enjoyment when we can get kids outside as often as possible,” she said.

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