Elementary students at the Spring Branch Academic Institute (SBAI), a school for highly gifted students, are experiencing a wide variety of learning outside the walls of their school this year, thanks to a grant from the Spring Branch Education Foundation (SBEF).
In his application for the grant, social studies teacher Josh Rohn wrote, “Children learn by doing, and by taking an active role in their learning. By being immersed in various learning sites around the city, our students can experience rich and real-world learning.”
He also noted that since field trips were not possible last year because of COVID-19 restrictions, the power of experiential learning this school year will be magnified.
With the grant funding, students from Spring Branch ISD’s SBAI will visit up to nine sites in the Houston area, with the aim of providing in-person, engaging, and challenging cross-curricular connections. To date, the students have visited the John P. McGovern Museum of Health and Medical Science and the Houston Arboretum.
During a recent trip, a staff naturalist gave an overview of the types of trees, plants and animals found in the Arboretum. The students the participated in walking tours in groups of 10. They had plenty of questions and energy, displayed their Limitless Curiosity and even had some facts to share.
“It’s a continuous cycle,” said one student about the life, decay and regrowth of vegetation in the Arboretum’s evolving forest.
Another pointed out to his classmates and teachers, “Coyotes are nocturnal animals.”
Future excursions will include visits to:
- George Ranch Historical Park
- Houston Museum of Natural Science
- Buffalo Soldier Museum
- George Observatory and Brazos Bend State Park
- San Jacinto Monument
- Sea Center Texas
- Taste of Texas
“The team at SBAI is fully committed to the academic growth and holistic development of our Dragons,” Patricia Kassir, SBAI Director, said. “We live in the nation’s fourth largest city, and we’re using the city of Houston as our classroom to engage our children in experiential learning opportunities, and in the process, support our school’s mission of high academic achievement. We’re grateful for the generous support of our partners at SBEF.”
Thank you SBEF for helping SBAI elementary students grow Limitless Curiosity (a Spring Branch ISD Core Value) and maximize learning, in and out of the classroom, which is an aspirational component of the Core Characteristic of being Academically Prepared.