country classroom

Autumn Days at Our Country Campus

It’s our last autumn week out at our country classroom at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Here are a few fall highlights . . .

  • Preschoolers made their first visit. Photos on social media of their first venture into fort building inspired nostalgic comments from high school alums; one commented, “Wow. I feel sad since I don’t go outside at all during the school day. Really took that stuff for granted.”

  • Kindergarten students explored the woods and used tools to find evidence of the types of creatures who live there. After a discussion and a vote, they chose rabbits and worms as subjects to study more in depth.

  • Primary Unit learned all about trees — the parts of the tree, how to identify different types of trees, the role of chlorophyll, and more — while also taking time and to build forts, play games, and explore the space.

  • Third grade investigated properties of seeds — focusing on how and why seeds disperse.

  • Junior Unit learned practical skills like using a compass and orienteering.  Students even had an opportunity to meet and work with Greg Ahlswede, a local orienteering champion and current coach of the junior national team.

  • Sixth graders made connections between what they observed happening to sediments and other land materials at the Schuylkill Center with the large-scale version of the same processes that formed Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

  • Seventh grade students studied the concepts of ratio and proportion. They were photographed at the Schuylkill Center in front of structures they built, and they then used the photos to compare structure heights.

  • Eighth graders created a live-action theme-based role play at different ponds at the Center. They also had guided lessons with Center educators about macro-invertebrates in ponds and learned how they help indicate pond health. 

It has been a fun and meaningful fall season at the Schuylkill Center, and we look forward to reconnecting with this beautiful natural site in the spring.

Introducing the Schuylkill Center

New faculty and staff headed out to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education – our country campus - on their second day of orientation. They met with the center's School Programs Manager, Damien Ruffner; toured the facilities; and took their first of what will be many hikes. 




Shelly Ridge Is the Place to Be

Shelly Ridge Day could not have been more wonderful! The setting was serene and beautiful, the weather was mild and sunny, and the family group activities were fun and varied. 

Returning to our school's former country classroom was a delight for our veteran faculty and staff, though the Junior Unit garden seemed long abandoned!  Everyone – from kindergarteners to long-time staff – enjoyed spending the day outdoors together.

Returning to Our Country Classroom

TPS students are returning this week to their country classroom after what seemed like a longer than usual winter.

Here are some of the topics that will be pursued at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education this spring:

  • Kindergarten students will focus on the life cycle and parts of a plant – activities at the Center will dovetail with Seed to Table garden work at school.  

  • Primary Unit children will be immersed in all things frogs and toads.

  • 3rd graders will explore streams/ponds and macro-invertebrates.