Questions are a Natural Part of Science at the Outdoor Science School

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Life finds a way! Recent rains have increased the flow of water in the seasonal stream at the Malibu Outdoor Science School, replacing occasional pools of water with a beautiful flowing stream.

These conditions have been perfect for a population of newts that live in the area. In a recent week students encountered more than 40 newts.

What conditions are needed before it is likely students will find newts in the riparian area? Where do newts live when the seasonal stream is not flowing? Why are newts only found in damp environments?

Questions like this are a natural part of inquiry at the Outdoor Science School. We love the emerging Next Generation Science Standards – it turns out they are exactly what we do best!

Next Generation Science Standards at the Outdoor Science School

Students at the Outdoor Science School in Malibu observe and compare spring wildflowers on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

A fundamental conceptual shift of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is the emphasis on using phenomena to engage in question-posing and inquiry. This is exactly what we do best at the Outdoor Science School.

How are the parts of a flower arranged to attract pollinators, collect pollen, and produce seeds? What diversity can we observe in the plants nearby in the same ecosystem? How do the components of an ecosystem interact and connect with each other?

These are essential science content questions, emphasized in NGSS, that students are able to explore at the Outdoor Science School.