1st Grade Science — Plants


First graders spent time learning about all the things plants need in order to germinate, grow and thrive. To better understand the need for sunlight, water, air and nutrients, students grew their own plants. They decided that the grass looked like hair and immediately got creative by drawing faces to fit the hair coming out of the top of the pots!

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Kindergarten Field Work to Local Orchard


Fall wouldn’t be complete without a trip planned to an apple orchard. Students in Kindergarten traveled to Hillcrest Orchard in October where they milked cows, took a hayride, enjoyed the petting zoo, toured the apple museum, participated in a pig race, and enjoyed the giant slide and playground.

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More About 2nd Grade Weather Studies


A few days ago you read about students in second grade making their own anemometers to measure wind speed and a wind vane to measure wind direction. Well, these students went on to make a weather observation garden using these homemade tools. You have seen them in the terraced front gardens. Way to go Second Grade!

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4th Grade — Learning About Types of Energy


Science class for fourth grade students has been all about types of energy these days. Here they are seen exploring light energy and the fact that white light is a combination of all colors of light. They used water droplets to create a prism in order to observe all the colors. After examining different sized water droplets, the students concluded that smaller droplets resulted in better rainbows. If you have or know a fourth grader, be sure to ask them to tell you all about it!

2nd Grade — STEM — Weather



Second graders began their study of weather by creating clouds inside bottles to see how water vapor condenses in lower pressure environments. They then began learning about weather measurements and tools as they created their own weather stations.


They made barometers that they continue to use everyday to measure barometric pressure in our atmosphere.

They also created weather vanes and anemometers to measure wind speed and direction.

3rd Grade – STEM – Building Roller Coasters to Learn About Motion


Recently students in third grade designed and built marble roller coasters in order to better understand the concepts of motion. They explored the effects of friction, gravity and momentum as they designed, tested, redesigned and improved their constructions.


As part of their continued studies, they performed a science lab where they examined balance versus unbalanced forces. They discovered through experimentation that just because an object is not in motion does not mean that forces are not action upon it.

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Learning in the Great Outdoors — 6th, 7th & 8th Grade Fall Camping Trip


This September, Learning Center 6th – 8th grade students embarked on a two night, three day camping trip to explore Cherokee history and the great outdoors. While camping in the Smokemont area of The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, students explored the area in a variety of different ways. At the Learning Center, we believe in hands-on education, and there is no better way for our students to learn than to venture out and spark their curiosity.


The wonderful folks at Smokemont Stables led Learning Center students and staff on a four-mile horseback ride through a wooded trail. Students learned about local flora and fauna from helpful and knowledgeable guides. Students were taught the basics of safely riding horseback while exploring the incredible biodiversity of our mountains.


While at camp, students adventured around the Bradley Fork Creek, hiking, wading, looking for signs of insect and animal life, inspecting plants of all kinds, and learning to fly fish. In camp, students were taught leave-no-trace ethics and pitched in to set up camp and maintain a safe, clean, and happy community.


The group ventured out of camp to explore Cherokee and the many educational opportunities it offers. They toured the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, taking in a fascinating history of the tribe from pre-history to the modern era. Students also perused the Qualla Arts & Crafts Center, seeing a variety of local crafts made by Cherokee artisans. The Cherokee visit culminated in a traditional Cherokee-style meal of bean bread and roasted chicken with the fixings, served at the museum.


Our students were also able to take in the history of the pioneer settlers that lived in the area that became the National Park. The Ocunaluftee Visitors Center features a variety of structures that exemplify the types of humble homesteads that dotted these mountains. From the blacksmith shop, to the pig pens, to the dove-tailed log cabins, Leanring Center students got a slice of local history first-hand.
Learning Center students take a camping trip at least once a year. We know that the great outdoors is a great learning experience and we love to see our students get excited about exploring the world around them. Find out more at www.naturallygrownkids.org/what-makes-us-different.

3rd Grade 21st Century Approach to Johnny Appleseed


Students in third grade took their studies of Johnny Appleseed to a new level when they opted to create Prezi presentations. Prezi is presentation software that uses motion, zoom,¬†and spatial relationships to bring ideas to life. It’s used by professionals all over the globe. . . and it’s now effectively used by Third Graders at The Learning Center!


1st Grade — Nature Writing


Students in first grade have taken advantage of the wonderful Fall weather by getting outside every chance they can. They have explored every nook and cranny of The Outdoor Learning Center. Here they are seen spending time writing about nature while experiencing it first hand.

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