LES Partners with Estes Institute

Estes Institute/LES a Partnership in Learning


Beginning last year, The Estes Park Environmental Center reached out to partner with Lyons Elementary School to develop standards-based environmental science programming focusing on the enhancement of Common Core Standards, the development of place-based science programming, and outreach into the regional scientific community.  This partnership was perhaps the most visible with the field trips and classroom work in the 4th/5th grade classroom spearheaded by Mrs. Amy Stahl.

This year, all of the LES 4th and 5th grade classes  are partnering with Estes Park Environmental Center and Estes Elementary to complete a series of 3 water testing data collections. Each of our 3 5th grade classes will visit the 3 locations (Confluence, South Fork and North Fork) and conduct a series of tests and observations. Prior to leaving on our first day we introduced the tests and why we would be testing (How healthy is our river?).

Students tested for water depth, dissolved oxygen, PH, nitrates, temperature and turbidity. They also observed macroinvertebrates and counted them. Results were recorded and we analyzed the class data across the 3 groups, then drew conclusions. LES will compare our data with that of Estes Park Elementary, and enter it into a national database.

4th grade students, in conjunction with the Ecosystems unit,  follow a protocol to observe the riparian environment three times a year.  Students will have solo observation time, receive instruction from park rangers, and data collection focusing on species identification, river health, and animal activity.  Additionally, students will complete the photo documentation project, taking photos at the same geographic location, 360 degrees, over time.

In addition to these amazing opportunities, all grade levels will be developing units aligning with Core Standards for their grade level.  STAY TUNED!