Building boats and racing them down the creek was the order of the day on October 29th for fifth grade students at The Learning Center Charter School. That’s because field educators from Muddy Sneakers took the class on an expedition to Fires Creek to learn about force and motion.
The Muddy Sneakers program exists to enrich the standard course of study through experiential education in an outdoor setting where students connect with the land, become more active, and gain self-confidence while improving science aptitude. Muddy Sneakers began as a pilot program in the spring of 2007 with Brevard and Pisgah Forest Elementary Schools in Transylvania County and has grown each year to now serve 36 schools across 12 counties and 13 school districts in the Carolinas.
While at Fires Creek, students had to construct a boat and see how fast it could travel in the creek in 11 seconds. Students made a hypothesis, tested their boats, made adjustments and then tested them again. They also investigated how a pulley system works by trying to find the best way to get a rope over a tree limb to lift a weighted backpack off the ground.
Fifth grade science teacher at the school, Gina Stafford, said, “The students loved the trip not just because it was fun, but because they were divided into small groups and were really able to focus on what the instructors were teaching. I loved seeing the kids so involved with the activities and enjoying the outdoors. They really did get muddy sneakers!”
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