What’s New, Fall 2023

What’s New at Blue Swallow

The Blue Swallow Farm Foundation has been working with administrators, educators, scientists, and researchers to encourage outdoor activities for students. We will be regularly posting updates on initiatives we have been supporting in our outreach section.

We have had a busy season at the Blue Swallow Farm Foundation. Here are some of the activities that we have been involved with and others that are coming up:

  • Conducted a research study on scientific observation skills, STEM career motivation, and well-being of fifth grade students in an outdoor classroom
  • Presented at the Association of Psychological Science (APS) conference in March on the impact of an innovative water quality monitoring program on STEM achievement, motivation, and environmental stewardship
  • Presented at the European Association for Research on Leaning and Instruction (EARLI) in August on the use of the GaiaXus probe during citizen science programs to foster metacognition and STEM career motivation

  • Supporting public and private schools in building outdoor classrooms
  • Presented at the mEducation Alliance conference

  • Received a donation from the Bank of Clarke

Aspirantes in the Forest-Outdoor Learning in a Suburban Setting

Garth Stubbolo

Las Americas ASPIRA Academy High School is a bilingual charter high school located in Newark, Delaware. It is on a 14.6-acre suburban campus, 5.6 acres is forested with approximately 1000 ft. of Persimmon Run, a tributary of the West Branch Christina River.

Plans have been made for building a learning/hiking/cross country/fitness trail along the creek and around the property that include outdoor seating for outdoor classroom use, whether for science, art, photography or to just get the students outside for class rather than in a building!

On July 29, 2023, young adults from a local church group “The Journey” provided a day of service to cut undergrowth for trail and outdoor seating areas and removed brush and downed limbs from areas along the proposed trail at Las Americas ASPIRA Academy High School.

A local tree removal service has agreed to provide mulch to line the trail and the outdoor seating area as well as logs for seating. A local contractor has agreed to build a teaching station including outdoor tables and whiteboard.

The trail is in use already! Biology classes at Las Americas ASPIRA Academy High School have been collecting and pressing flowers and leaves to build a baseline of the flora in the area. They have done dip netting and insect collection as well as placing leaf packs for macroinvertebrate studies.

Chemistry classes have taken water samples to analyze in the lab to build a baseline for ongoing analysis of the water quality. Plans are in place for students to develop a plan for ongoing analysis of the stream at several locations to monitor the impact of housing developments bordering the stream and runoff from a local highway that crosses it. Earth science classes will be studying the structure of the stream including riffle zones, erosion and point bar formation.

At this point a portion of the first trail loop along one side of the creek has been cleared and is being used by science classes. We look forward to completion of Phase 1 this fall! The campus of Las Americas ASPIRA Academy High School holds an outstanding opportunity for the growth of leadership skills and environmental stewardship for the students, staff, and community of Las Americas ASPIRA Academy High School.

At the Blue Swallow Farm Foundation, we recognize that literacy is a critical skill for all subject areas and careers. We are launching The Blue Swallow Farm Foundation Science and Literacy Program, with free resources/books. Look for the Blue Swallow Farm Foundation icon to request materials that are listed with select lesson plans.

Note: At this time, copies are available for K-12 educators in the United States at a public or private organization. Copies will be provided on a first come first serve basis with one copy per applicant while supplies last.

Go to Top