WFAA: Outdoor classroom at Kramer Elementary sparking positive results

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What better way to experience solar energy than to be outdoors, surrounded by sunshine? That’s one way the outdoor learning lab at Dallas ISD’s Arthur Kramer Elementary School is being used on a daily basis to boost student learning.

The two-year-old lab, funded through donations, has improved science testing scores dramatically at the school. On a recent school day, teacher Renold Bodden led his fifth-graders into the outdoor setting to study solar energy through hands-on experiments.

“To be out of those four walls, it seems to lose the sense of being confined, and gives them more of a connection with nature,” Bodden said.

What’s more, the open-air classroom engages students in new ways. “It’s very interactive, and it’s very fun” fifth-grader Brandon Bernal said.

Principal Katie Wanserskieska said students hold onto knowledge when it goes beyond mere lecture. “Reading, listening, that doesn’t have the same retention rate for kids as experiencing it, or being part of an experiment,” she said.

Watch the full report by WFAA-Channel 8 here.

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