Resurrecting the Orchard

December 8, 2013

Students ferry the new apple tree up to the orchard.

Students ferry the new apple tree up to the orchard.

The last few years have, unfortunately, been ones of neglect for the orchard. The trees were planted about five years ago, but because of changes in the faculty I ended up in charge of it. Unfortunately, with projects like the invasive species remediation and the working out how to use the surveying equipment I have not had the opportunity to turn my full attention to the needs of the fruit trees.

Enter Dr. Sansone. He’s been my key resource for a few of my earlier farm-school type projects (see chickens and rabbits). But, apart from livestock he also has a keen interest in organic agriculture including fruit and berry trees. He’s been helping clearing the brush from the orchard, spraying the trees for to get rid of and prevent disease, and he managed to get the donation of a new apple tree from the Frisella Nursery, just across the Missouri River from us in St. Charles.

The new tree is particularly valuable because it’s a good pollinator.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. Resurrecting the Orchard , Retrieved October 22nd, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Transit

November 13, 2013

NWI Instruments transit.

NWI Instruments transit.

This spring I was nominated by my head of school for a small, Teacher of Distinction award offered by the Independent Schools of St. Louis (ISSL). I proposed to get a survey transit that our students could use to map ecological change on campus. My outdoor group has been slowly cutting down the invasive Bradford pear saplings on the slope and I’ve been curious to see if mapping their locations would help us better understand where they’re coming from.

Measuring the distance down to the creek.

Measuring the distance down to the creek.

The transit would also be a great tool for math. Geometry, algebra, and pre-calculus classes could all benefit because surveying can require quite a bit of geometry and trigonometry.

View through the transit.

View through the transit. The middle mark on the reticule allows you to measure elevation change, while the upper and lower marks are used to measure distance. There’s a 100:1 conversion from the distance between the upper and lower marks and the distance from the transit to the measuring rod.

So, I’ve started training a few of my outdoor group in making the measurements. They’ve spent a few weeks learning how to use the transit; we only meet once a week so it goes slowly. However, we’ll start trying to put marks on paper at our next class.

Students trying out the transit.

Students trying out the transit.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2013. Transit, Retrieved October 22nd, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Rafting on the Meramec

June 19, 2010

After the caves at Meramec Caverns we took a rafting trip down the Meramec with the same company that runs the Caverns. They drove us to a put-in point a couple kilometers upstream in an old yellow schoolbus and left us with two rafts and the full kit and we floated down the stream back to the cavern’s parking lot.

The stream was quiet and it was an easy float, especially with the nice weather. We saw turtles sunning on the logs, a bald eagle flew across of the bows of the leading boat, and we chatted with a few of the other boaters on the river.

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2010. Rafting on the Meramec, Retrieved October 22nd, 2017, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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