Children learn science inside — and outside — of the Wyman Living History Museum | CraigDailyPress.com

Children learn science inside — and outside — of the Wyman Living History Museum

Bre Ford, math and science teacher at Craig Middle School, presents lessons on Tuesday and Thursday

Michael Neary

Tommy Weber, Zac Prescott and Garrett Mercer feed an elk named “Junior” at Wyman Living History Museum.

Bre Ford said the sorts of lessons she teaches at the Wyman Living History MuseumWyman Living History Museum shares ground with the science she teaches at Craig Middle School during the school year. shares ground with the science she teaches at Craig Middle School during the school year.

Wyman Living History Museum shares ground with the science she teaches at Craig Middle School during the school year.

But the outdoors plays a starring role at the museum.

"Our goal is hands-on science," Ford said.

Ford works with students to learn, inside the museum, about animal forms and behaviors — along with other concepts in science. On Tuesday, she was helping them create molds of animal footprints, and she asked them about the differences in feet and paws and how those differences could help the animals survive.

But theory soon gives way to observation. Ford frequently takes students out to examine animal tracks — and also to examine actual animals, ranging from elk to tadpoles.

Recommended Stories For You

"It's been really fun — especially since for some of the littler kids, it's the first time they've ever gotten to touch a frog," Ford said.

Ford said some of the excitement for kids involves getting outside.

"Some of them live on a ranch where they do this kind of stuff, but for some of them this is their only chance to go outside," she said.

Once outdoors — especially in the territory of the Wyman Living History Museum — a whole world opens up for the students.

"We study birds, and we study different mammals," Ford said. "We study the ecosystem — food chains and all of what animals need to survive."

Noting the variety of creatures in the area, Ford pointed to an osprey's nest that was mounted on a telephone pole.

"You'll also see raccoons, deer, elk, fish, snake, lizards — all sorts of things out here," she said.

One of the activities the children engaged in Tuesday was to feed, through a fence, an elk named Junior. That activity followed instructions on how to behave near an elk.

Ford teaches three age groups of children on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the museum. The first group of children ranges from age 3 to 7; the second from 8 to 10 and the third from 11 to 13. Different groups of children, she said, come on each of the two days.

Garrett Mercer, going into sixth grade at Craig Middle SchoolCraig Middle School, was among the older group of children learning about science on Tuesday., was among the older group of children learning about science on Tuesday.

Craig Middle School, was among the older group of children learning about science on Tuesday.

Learning with Garrett on Tuesday were Tommy Weber and Zac Prescott. Tommy said his favorite animal is the bear, and Zac said he's partial to snakes.

"Adult frogs lay the eggs down under the water, and finally they hatch," Garrett said. He then traced the progression of the hatched tadpole back up to the adult frog — and, by way of example, he held out a frog that he'd found in a nearby patch of water.

Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.Contact Michael Neary at 970-875-1794 or mneary@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Education.