L’Etoile students get hands-on in the neighborhood


Courtesy of Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District • L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion School students went around the Beaver Lake neighborhood in early May to encourage neighbors to “adopt a drain” and help keep local water sources clean. The students have been working with the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District all year on various water quality projects.

Courtesy of Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District

L’Etoile du Nord French Immersion School fourth-grade students went around the Beaver Lake neighborhood in early May encouraging neighbors to adopt a drain. 

The school, which is located in the neighborhood, has been involved in environmental learning for a number of years.

Sage Passi, who is the education coordinator for the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District, said she’s been working with the school for nearly a decade. She helps create hands-on environmental learning for a number of local schools. 

Throughout the school year, fourth-grade students from L’Etoile work with the watershed district to learn more about how their actions can impact the local watershed and water around the world. 

Passi said students do a variety of activities throughout the year. This fall, L’Etoile students met with neighbors near Beaver Lake to tour their rain gardens and to learn about water runoff and how it moves from lakes to streams to rivers, and eventually, to the ocean.

In the winter, students again went to Beaver Lake and helped researchers take water samples. They tested the water’s PH level, the temperature and the salinity of the water, tying into a lesson about the use of road salt during the winter and how it can affect water quality. 

Most recently at the beginning of the month, L’Etoile students went around in the neighborhood to encourage neighbors to “adopt a drain,” meaning that neighbors will help keep drains clear of garbage, leaves and other pollutants. 

Nick Gasho, a fourth-grade teacher at L’Etoile, said his students are at an age where “their curiosity level is almost endless,” and that these ground- and water-level opportunities held create long-lasting educational lessons that stick with the students much longer than classroom work. 

“We spend enough time, too much time, in a classroom,” said Gasho. “9 and 10-year-olds thrive when they can get out into the community, into nature and when they can have hands-on projects.”

For those interested in adopting a drain, go to www.adopt-a-drain.org.

 

— Marjorie Otto

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