SnowSchool and STEM
How a K-12 SnowSchool site in Idaho City, ID is recharging their curriculum with outdoor learning and STEM certified programming.
SnowSchool is a bridge connecting kids to the world of snow science and winter recreation. With over 75 sites along the snow belt, our curriculum is designed for kindergarten to high school and connects hands-on outdoor learning in the snow to further science explorations in the classroom. Students learn about hydrology, winter ecology, wildlife, and snow crystals. They also explore the vital connection between the snowpack–the largest reservoir in the West–and the water they drink every day.
Recently, our SnowSchool site in Idaho City, ID, utilized this curriculum to bolster their STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) designation journey. Basin Elementary School is part of the rural Basin School District in Boise County, home to around 8,000 people and set in the backyard of the Boise National Forest. As part of a school-wide goal to receive a STEM Certification from an independent accreditor, they’ve worked hard for years to adopt educational best-practices such as problem-based experiential learning and integrating STEM thinking into a broad range of activities and learning opportunities.
“Students look forward each winter to snowshoeing into the forest learning about the local watershed and taking scientific measurements.” -Brian Hunicke, Superintendent of Basin School District #72
Among the many innovations created through this journey, Basin School District has integrated outdoor learning across all grade levels. And this includes providing SnowSchool experience for students at Basin Elementary. With their recent STEM certification on the books, they’ve taken another step to provide greater learning and growth opportunities for their students and teachers.
“Working with Winter Wildlands Alliance has helped us develop amazing STEM curriculum for our SnowSchool program. Students look forward each winter to snowshoeing into the forest learning the science of snow and the local watershed. They are engaged in observation, experimentation, scientific measurements and data collection. It is a highlight of our winter outdoor education program. -Tammie Ogden, Teacher at Basin School District
We’re thrilled to be a part of Basin School District’s educational journey and to provide our SnowSchool curriculum as a piece to their STEM integration. Please join us in congratulating this site on their huge step and celebrating another winter of SnowSchool!