Under the guidance of teachers Heidi Moran and Peggy Russo, Cove School 5th grade students in Beverly centered their learning and service around a vernal pool that abuts the school’s property. After surveying Cove School staff about their familiartiy with and use of the vernal pool, the students realized that this resource was a severely underutilized commodity. Knowing that students love to be outside and investigate nature, the 5th graders used data from the survey to articulate opportunites with the vernal pool. They decided that other students should know that there was a vernal pool out there and they wanted to get them to visit it. This led to a poster contest. The posters were hung around the school as an advertising campaign of sorts, and the winning poster was made into a sign so that people could actually locate the pool.
Working with Kestrel Educational Adventures, the 5th graders studied the vernal pool to better understand the species associated with the pool and to become better stewards of this resource. They conducted field studies in the pool and created guides. They culminated their project by creating an interactive experience for younger students in the school. Each 5th grader created a mask of a particular organism they had researched and took on the role of their organism as they invited the younger children to the vernal pool.