Our Wisconsin charter school uses scientific research and project-based learning as the focus of our curriculum. Project learning is based on a constructivist model of learning that engages you in real-world scholarly activity because you get to chose topics that interest you.
Habitat Restoration Project
Posted on December 5, 2011 by Maryann V., 8th Grade
On the 16th and 17th of November, the Wildlands Middle School students took a seven minute bus ride to Bill Henke's farm. Mr. Henke has lived on this farm for 50 years, hoping to create a wildlife reserve. Mr. Hadorn and his students have agreed to help him.
The purpose of this wildlife reserve is to create a safer place for all non-game species. We focused our community service learning on animals like salamanders, mice, chipmunks, owls, and other various rodents and birds. We separated into groups to get the job done. On Wednesday, half of us went with Mr. Henke to make a brush pile for rodents that need to escape from their predators. We collected dead trees and made them into a pile. When we were done it was about 8 feet long and 9 feet tall.
The other half of us went with Mr. Sipple, who is part of the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service), to make vernal pools. A vernal pool is made for salamanders and lizards that do not have a safe place to lay eggs. We made the vernal pools by digging a large hole, and the putting tarps down so the water wouldn't drain into the ground the next time it rained. Then we covered the tarps with dirt.
On Thursday we did the same thing as the day before only switching groups so that all of us had a chance to experience even more of this project. We all enjoyed those two days and hope to continue similar projects. I am sure it has helped many creatures already. We would like to give a special thanks to Mr. Bill Henke for this great learning opportunity!
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In the winter of 2011, Wildlands Charter School students began producing news stories for our website and an electronic email newsletter.
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