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Hands-On Learning At East Range II School

January 28, 2016

Most elementary school teachers can attest that their jobs are fast-paced, filled with energetic and smiling youngsters eager to tackle each new day.  In the winter months, bitter cold, flu season, and snow days can sure make life interesting.  Teachers will often change up the daily routine with exciting lessons to keep students on their toes and add new features to classroom learning.

East Range II School, a small, close-knit K – 8 school in Topsfield is doing just that.  East Range is working with Downeast Lakes Land Trust’s Education and Outreach Manager, Colin Brown, on bringing new learning experiences to the classroom and the outdoors.  During the month of January, students in grades 3 – 8 explored the biology of Barn Owls with an owl pellet dissection.  The excitement of rummaging through the pelletized remains of an owl’s meal gives great insight to predator and prey relationships and the inner workings of a food web.  To view photos of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders – click here!

The students also took part in a map and compass skills lesson.  Funding for this program was graciously provided by the Maine Guides Education Fund and helps students understand the basics of reading topographic maps and navigating with compasses.  In the technological age of GPS, compass skills have largely been lost and the students were excited to combine math, science, and geography into one exciting lesson in the outdoors.

“These hands-on lessons are crucial to getting students out of their comfort zone and engaged in STEM activities which are a great supplement to the daily curriculum,” said Brown.

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust offers year-round, free education programs to local schools in the Downeast Lakes region.  If you are interested in scheduling a school program, please call (207) 796 – 2100 or email