According to Dictionary.com, a scientist is “a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.” We strive to have our students understand that what they are learning here at Sheep Pasture can turn into a lifetime of learning. It may seem very basic to teach about what birds are covered in, or how a tree can produce its own energy, but these are just the building blocks for deeper learning and interest in nature.
Even then, learning doesn’t stop once we grow up and leave the classroom. We run into nature every day and can continue to gain knowledge about the world around us. Take for instance today’s solar eclipse. People have been flocking to get eclipse glasses or making their own viewing boxes. And that is INCREDIBLE! So many people will get to experience the wonder and awe of the interactions between the Sun, Moon, and Earth.
But what about tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year? We can’t let the excitement of this experience disappear. What about when the leaves change to brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds, showcasing how trees conserve energy? Or when the first snow falls and each snowflake has a unique shape due to the conditions it was created? Again, these things may seem so common and trivial, however, they are perfect examples of looking around us and learning about what we observe each and every day.
If you are looking for a way to directly contribute to scientist and research, find a Citizen Science program that can allow you to monitor frogs, fireflies, or even categorize far off galaxies.
A great place to start is: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/