I really enjoyed testing water! I loved being a chemist when I was at that station. It was super fun. I learned how to test water with my friends. It would be amazing if we could test water in lots of different places. I liked testing for D.O., pH, N, and turbidity with my friends like a team of real scientists.
--Nicole, Natural Bridge ES, gr. 4
The king of all field trips. -- Jacob, Mountain View ES, gr. 4
Thank you for teaching us more about the water cycle and how to get it clean. I had so much fun that when I got to my house I went down to my creek. When I got to my creek I took some bread and fed the fish and all the other animals.” -- Damien, Fairfield ES, gr. 4
When we were in 3rd grade we learned about plants, but now we learned about taking care of water. I had a lot of fun with you guys. -- Donovan, Fairfield ES, gr. 4
Thank you for teaching us about how we can change the world. Also you taught us about how we need to quit leaving our trash when we go on picnics and other places. -- Alexis, Fairfield ES, gr. 4
I think Boxerwood does a great job at not polluting the water. The model of the watershed showed me that polluting the water kills animals all over the world and that we shouldn’t do it. Thank you for teaching us about how to recycle our bags and bottles. Now I know what a watershed is where rain or water go’s down hill and gets together with other raindrops. I had a lot of fun learning about the watershed and polluting. --Victoria, Fairfield ES, gr. 4
Thank you for teaching us about adapt or die and making pipe cleaner bugs. I loved spending time outside. I really like Boxerwood. Boxerwood is so fun I would live there if I could! ---Rio, gr. 2
It’s amazing what we can do if we do a bit to help. -- Aiden, Waddell ES, gr. 4 (2013)
If we treat Rockbridge County bad then it will effect the Chesapeake Bay but if we treat Rockbridge County right then the Chesapeake Bay will not be polluted. We did the testing to learn not to pollute. We realized we all have to work hard to keep our water source clean. -- Gavin, Waddell ES, gr. 4
Thank you for teaching us a lot. I pick up trash from everywhere and I hope I can come back soon. I really like Boxerwood. You help the world a lot.-- Lucas, Mountain View ES, gr. 4
I had fun when I came to see what we was going to do. I seen lots of stuff that looked cooler than a new video game. -- Jamal, Mountain View ES, gr. 4
I wonder what new activity we will do in 4th grade? I’m getting more interested in the outdoors because of what we can find in nature. -- Keagan, Waddell ES, gr. 3
My favorite part was seeing the cardinal on the tree. I learned birds eat seeds and bugs. I learned about bird habitats and they use nests for their home. I learned that woodpeckers poke holes in trees to get bugs. -- Bryant, Waddell ES, gr. 3
I was excited when we looked for evidence that if the woodlands is a good habitat for birds and the court of science was wonderful. -- Devin, Waddell ES, gr.3
Thank you for making Boxerwood fun. I love everything you’ve done to Boxerwood. I like the playground because we get dirty like animals and if we were animals Boxerwood would be the best habitat for me. Boxerwood is the best place I have ever been in my life. -- Daniel, Waddell ES, gr. 3
As educators we are constantly looking for ways to inspire, and sometimes as we know TIME is the four letter word that stifles that creativity. I was having one of those moments not too long ago. I had mountains of paperwork and data to analyze. I had students who demanded my attention and wanted to have fun and innovative lessons. I was at a loss. I was trying to explain watersheds in a new and creative way. Not a very exciting topic, watersheds, I thought to myself. Fortunately I was sent a blessing. Not long after this moment I was visited by my friend, Elise Sheffield, from Boxerwood. Together we started designing a lesson that the students would enjoy using the 4 strand method of science. She and I came up with a lesson we call “Mapping your Schoolyard." The students loved this activity. They had a great time doing it. Since that day our lesson has been used all over our county, and this year I actually presented our lesson at the VMI STEM conference for all to take part in.
I would have never had this opportunity if it were not for the help of Boxerwood. Since then we have worked with each other with many different projects, including our latest the NEST program. Boxerwood is a group of dedicated educators and volunteers who have a passion for including nature in learning. They love to reach out to as many students as they can in a year and work with each of them on becoming better stewards of the Earth through education. Boxerwood provides opportunities for field trips to many different areas of Rockbridge County, and they also provide classroom support to the teacher who is looking for a different spin on an old SOL idea. They have been essential in my growth as an educator, and I am proud to call them colleagues and friends.
Our newest venture is the NEST program. The NEST program goal is to bring this collaboration that I have had for almost 5 years now to the world. NEST is a multileveled communication platform. We know that it is inconceivable for all of you to come and visit Boxerwood Nature Center. Our thought was to bring Boxerwood and all of its experience to you. Through this NEST website you are able to communicate with Boxerwood employees, teachers that have experience and training, other teachers who are looking for great ideas, or simply leave questions for someone who may know the answer. You will also be able to find actual usable materials to print and carry into your classroom. We hope that by making this information and our expertise available that we may help you find that inspiring lesson you may need. Please browse, explore, read our stories, leave us a question, or simply contact us. We would love to help.
--Rick Bain, 4th grade teacher at Fairfield ES (2016)