Deer Creek Students Study Ecology at Baker

For the last three years, Baker Sanctuary has partnered with Deer Creek Elementary teachers to augment their 4th grade Ecology unit. Christopher Murray, the Baker Sanctuary steward, collaborated with Deer Creek teacher Charlie Ciernia to develop a Project Based Learning experience which would help make the science of Ecology come alive to the fourth graders at Deer Creek. To kick off the unit, Chris visited the Deer Creek campus to give an Ecology presentation which focused on possible career paths for students interested in science, ecology of the Texas Hill Country, and challenges particular to managing Baker Sanctuary. Following the presentation, the 4th grade science team introduced and discussed ecological concepts with their students with the goal of visiting Baker to collect data specifically on invasive plants, human impacts to the environment, and native flora and fauna. After gathering data on the field trip and seeing in real life what they discussed in the classroom, students unpacked what they learned and saw how it related to their studies and to their lives. This year’s session saw 110 students, five teachers, and 15 parents visit the Sanctuary for the annual field trip.