January 26, 2022
Students across the state can learn what watersheds are and how you can help keep them healthy through a hands-on program at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Open OutDoors for Kids offers classroom lessons and activities including kits for students to design, build and test a small beach cleaning machine. Schools across the state can participate for free thanks to a grant from the National Park Foundation. All 3rd, 4th and 5th graders in the Great Lakes Region are encouraged to apply for the free tuition and design kits here.
Lessons focusing on “Earth and Human Activities” and “Construction of Technology” will help students learn next-generation standards of science. Students will also be able to expand their vocabulary and skills as they learn words like watershed and the process of developing and using models. Will Shafroth, NPF President and CEO, says learning at the parks is fun, memorable, and practical. “Parks open children’s eyes to the wonders and complexities of nature and history, and share different perspectives that provide a broader understanding of our country’s advances and struggles,” he says. Since 2011, the National Park Foundation has engaged more than a million students in educational programs that connect them to national parks across the country. The goal is to connect an additional million students to parks by the end of the 2024-25 school year.