BWE rainforest field trip
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Big Walnut Elementary School students recently took a field trip to a Costa Rican Rainforest, thanks to Doug Germann’s fourth and fifth grade REACH students.
The REACH students were studying tropical rainforests and their importance to the planet’s biology; and since traveling to a rainforest would be cost-prohibitive, they built their own mini-rainforest in one of the school’s modular buildings.
“My students were studying biomes of the world as part of their science curriculum, and in the process they built their very own tropical rainforest,” Germann said. “The students researched rain forests themselves; they found out what plants, critters and birds lived in their part of the rain forest.”
Germann said the students spent 32 hours after school constructing the simulated Costa Rican rainforest. They created snakes, bats, spiders, frogs and birds that would inhabit the rainforest, including orchids, macaws, hummingbirds, and even a two-toed sloth.
“One room even included wildlife in the emergent layer of the rainforest,” Germann said. “Tour guides took all the BWE classes through in 10-minute tours, like an in-house field trip, and we even had two parent evenings on May 17 and May 21.”
BWE’s REACH students get to stay together for another year. The fifth graders become sixth graders next year, and the fourth graders become fifth graders, and they all will attend the new grade five and six Big Walnut Intermediate School, located at the former Big Walnut Middle School building on Baughman Street.