Character - Claim 3:
Service: In the Curriculum
Service in the Curriculum
Service is a part of our mission, and service that is woven into a standards based curriculum is exactly the kind of service we strive for whenever we can. Engaging students in activities that seamlessly weave together the acquisition of new skills (academic skills, career skills, interpersonal skills) together with work that is of service to our community is a win win, and it is something we have been implementing, wherever possible, for many years.
Our belief is that when students engage in frequent service learning, connected to the curriculum and with opportuities for personal reflection, they become empowered citizens, and that these habits will last a life time.
6th Grade - NOURISH: GLOBAL & LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS, SPRING SEMESTER
What power do I have to change environmental issues?
Why is it so hard to eat “right”? Why do our food choices matter?
Are bananas good for us, and the planet?
6th graders spend their spring semester exploring topics related to local and global food systems with a focus on sustainability. Through classroom and field-based investigations, students weave together the STEAM disciplines, build strong literacy skills, and experience hands on practices as they connect with local food sources and growers, both in our own campus garden and in conjunction with regional growers.
TOTAL HOURS/6th GR STUDENT = 14 service hours / student / year
Nourish Expedition with 52 students - 2 Farm Fieldwork Service Days in Central Oregon (4 hours/each day)
Portland Trip - Urban Farm Day at Zenger Farm (6 hours)
7th Grade - HEALTHY FORESTS: RYAN RANCH RESTORATION
How do you know if an ecosystem healthy?
What do you measure?
Why are healthy forests important to humans and the environment?
REALMS 7th graders pursue classroom and field-based studies organized around the collection, analysis, display, and interpretation of data from sampling plots along the forest-meadow ecotone in Ryan Ranch Meadow on the banks of the Deschutes River. Math, science, art and literacy come together as teachers and students collaborate with local agencies to examine the guiding questions above and analyze potential impact of a wetland restoration project in the meadow bordering the forest. Students share their answers with community members including experts from the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.
8th Grade - TUMALO CREEK: WATER, SALMON & CARBON
What is anthropogenic climate change and how does it matter?
How many trees or how much forest is needed to offset the carbon emitted in our everyday choices?
Is Tumalo Creek healthy? How do you measure the health of a stream and what does a healthy stream look like?
During the Fall semester REALMS students tackle the guiding questions above through an inter-disciplinary investigation that bridges all the STEAM disciplines. Students gain a solid understanding of fish ecology, water quality parameters, and ecological functioning of riparian and river systems. Throughout the Tumalo Creek project, students are interacting with professionals and being scientists themselves; they are collecting and analyzing data that is shared with the USFS and the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, and they are developing a sense of service and an understanding of the importance and challenges that come with field science and with being stewards of public resources.
TOTAL HOURS/STUDENT = 39 hours / student / year
Tumalo Creek Fieldwork - Data collection and analysis for outside agencies
6 days for 6 hours each = 36 hrs/student
Travel Study Trip - Lopez Island community service - 3 hours/student
TOTAL HOURS/7th GR STUDENT = 20 hours / student / year
Ryan Ranch Meadow Math & Science Fieldwork- Data collection and analysis for use for outside agencies - 3 days for 6 hours each = 18 hrs/student
Warm Springs Then and Now In-depth Investigation - Service to Warm Springs native community members - 1 day for 2 hours = 2 hrs /student
Below are some publications in which the service learning programs at REALMS are featured!
Fieldwork and Service Drive An Ethic Stewardship and Connection to Place
Students at ALL grades at REALMS engage in a semester long learning expedition that incorporates significant hands on service learning. Details of each grade's specific curriculim and service focus can be found in the sections below.
In 2015 we began collecting data to determine the extent to which these service learning experiences were impacting students' attitudes towards their specific area of study, and to what extent our students might be developing an "ethic of stewardship" which would impact their future choices and actions.
Below is a graph showing the aggregated and summarized responses based a specific, contextualized question that all 6th and 7th graders responded to with respect to how their service work has impacted their beliefs and choices. Grade based data from this and other related questions are below.