SnowSchool has always been about harnessing the power of snow to connect kids with nature.  In making this dream a reality the program has engaged over 170,000 participants since 2005.   However, one potential problem with a school field trip program like SnowSchool is that while the outdoor experience inherently generates enthusiasm, all too often there is little or no connection back to the classroom.  The result can be a weak “one-and-done” experiential program that misses an enormous opportunity to spark further exploration and learning.  Recent curriculum innovations pioneered by Winter Wildlands Alliance are taking SnowSchool well beyond the one-day field trip model, and have transformed SnowSchool into an extended learning experience for elementary, middle and high school students.

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For example, this winter WWA piloted a new Snowpack Prediction Contest for elementary students and teachers at the flagship SnowSchool site in Boise.  The idea is simple: Challenge students to use historical snowpack data to make informed predictions about the amount of snow their local SnowSchool site will receive in the coming year, with prizes given out for the most accurate predictions.  The result was a 4-month learning experience and science project that kids loved!  And extending students’ learning experience and connecting it back to the classroom ensures that SnowSchool makes good on its aspiration to foster ecological literacy among our youngest generation.  Check out our work at http://snowschool.squarespace.com/snowschool-follow-up-project/

Winter Wildlands Alliance is currently working hard to bring a rich SnowSchool experience to as many kids and communities across the country as possible.   Donate now to help us achieve this important goal!

To find out how to receive one of our curriculum/activity guides for elementary, middle and high school students contact Kerry McClay at kmcclay@winterwildlands.org

For more information about SnowSchool visit www.snowschool.org