GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – For many of us, our days in elementary school centered around reading, writing and arithmetic.
But that’s not the case these days at Green Bay’s Wequiock Elementary, where students feel pretty lucky.
“I would like somebody to tell me another school that has chickens and raised beds, a beautiful garden,” says third grader Addison Linz.
Five years in the works, the school’s official name is now Wequiock Elementary School Children’s Center for Environmental Science.
“Now that we have our tech lab and our chickens and our inquiry lab, we’re definitely able to come out of the classroom a lot more and get the students hands on. When we were kids, we read from the textbook, we studied about it and we learned about it, but now we’re really trying to incorporate that learning and apply it,” says Second Grade Teacher Jennifer Beno.
“I’m actually a product of the Chicago suburbs. I didn’t think I would ever be involved in an environmental science school,” says Principal Sarah Lange.
But Lange says that doesn’t mean basic studies aren’t part of the curriculum.
“We meet all the same standards that every other school is expected to meet in the Green Bay Schools, but we try to put an environmental lens over it,” says Lange.
Each grade level has a theme, from plants and animals in our environment, to climate, environmental problem solving and gardening.
“We might come out here and be like, hmmm, there’s some sweet potatoes, or two or three weeks ago we actually picked some carrots and brought them home,” says third grader Illyn Proehl.
After some time in the garden, which includes some fun, it’s off to the chicken coop, a new learning experience for these young scientists in their little lab coats.
“I think these are super cool. All my friends have them and teachers can even wear them,” Addison says of her lab coat.
“The part I don’t like is that it only goes up to 5th grade, so you can only be here until 5th grade,” adds Illyn.
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