February 24, 2013

Classroom in the pines

If Edgecomb teacher Glenn Powers has his way, no child will be left behind when it comes to the lessons of the great outdoors.

By Deirdre Fleming dfleming@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Joe Guenther, 11, leads classmates carrying a ladder into the woods so his group can hang a nesting box for northern flickers as part of the Center for Teaching and Learning’s hands-on scientific research that their teacher feels is essential to a child’s development.

Photos by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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Teacher Glenn Powers lectures students by the warming hut at the Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson as part of the curriculum of the “40 Days in the Woods” program.

Additional Photos Below

But for the most part, the Forest Inventory Growth project has been a tough sell, Maloney said.

"We need to redesign it, expand the type of data kids are collecting and put a few things on the website to make it easier for students once they enter the data to compare it and create Excel sheets. One of the things I've learned in this job is you have to be patient," she said.

Likewise, Evan Adams at the Biodiversity Research Institute in Gorham also is wondering how well the fifth- and sixth-graders will add to the data he gathers in southern Maine at nest boxes. But he's delighted they're involved.

"The goal is for them to contribute real data. It's a checklist. They just look and see, is anybody in the nest box, and what (kind of bird) and how many eggs are there. Absolutely we will use that data," Adams said. "We do take classes out. We don't have a class like Glenn's who are independently gathering data themselves."

However, bat conservationist Annie Kassler in the midcoast has some idea how the students will fare. She gave a presentation on bats to them and saw the seeds of inspiration already taking hold.

Kassler, a presenter with Bat Conservation International in Texas, said when she spoke to Powers’ class, the students' understanding of bats surprised her.

"For me it's not so much about collecting data as it is to get kids fascinated in bats. They all seemed to be quite fascinated and had stories. I was impressed with how much they knew. And they knew the issues concerning bats," Kassler said.

Staff Writer Deirdre Fleming can be contacted at 791-6452 or at:


Twitter: Flemingpph

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Additional Photos

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Glenn Powers’ students aren’t hearing no evil; they’re attempting to view a snowy day in the woods from the keen senses of the critters who dwell there.

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Emma Hall, 11, drills a hole so she can hang a nesting box for northern flickers, a medium-sized member of the woodpecker family.


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