A National Network of Field Classrooms
The Bureau of Land Management’s Hands on the Land program includes a national network of field classrooms that connects students, teachers and community volunteers to America’s public lands. The BLM has more than 80 Hands on the Land sites.
The program brings classroom learning to life through hands-on experiences in natural, historical, and archaeological settings. Students become more aware and curious about the local environment and they are exposed to careers in natural resources.
Through partnerships with local schools and communities, the program gets students outside to cultivate connections to nature, expose them to 21st century issues affecting land managers, and meet identified standards of educational excellence.
For example, at the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, students work in the monument doing jobs such as measuring and estimation math exercises; evaluation of ancient landscapes; and native plant and wildlife identification. At the White Mountains National Recreation Area in Alaska, students focus on snow sciences and participate in snow and ice surveys for use in the natural sciences and math curriculum.
Studies have shown that taking learning outside will increase student achievement, as well as students’ sense of self-respect and responsibility as stewards of the environment.
Visit the Hands on the Land website at http://www.handsontheland.org to find sites near you.