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KSS Outdoor Education Core Competencies

Keystone Science School is known for our exceptional programming. We collaborate with teachers to customize each program based on their desired goals. All our programs are place-based and we strive to create a unique and memorable experience that cannot be facilitated in a traditional classroom.

Each of our programs contain elements of environmental science, social-emotional learning, community building, and outdoor experience. Students will be in small groups (no more than 13) with one KSS Instructor and at least one chaperone. Each small group will go out on a separate trail for their field day, where they will engage with the curriculum in an outdoor classroom. There will be opportunities for larger group activities, especially during the evening programming.

Environmental Science

environmental scienceStudents will study standards-based environmental science topics through engaging place-based activities. We strive to create a unique and memorable experience that cannot be facilitated in a traditional classroom. These activities are designed to be an enrichment to science taught in the classroom. Groups may choose one environmental science topic, and can rank sub-topics based on preference.

Outdoor Experience

outdoor exploration 2Students will use all of their senses to discover the natural environment around them through games, guided exploration, and self reflection with the goal of fostering greater appreciation for the natural world. KSS instructors will help students become more comfortable in the outdoors by cultivating an inclusive and supportive environment. KSS Instructors will naturalize on trail, tailor their teaching to students’ interests, and take advantage of teachable moments. Students will have the opportunity to unplug, slow down, and enjoy being present in nature. Groups can also prioritize a challenge hike, where students will push themselves outside of their comfort zones.

In the spring and fall, students will hike on the trails around Summit County. In the winter, teachers can choose to cross-country ski or snowshoe with their students. When cross-country skiing, students begin with a ski fundamentals lesson before exploring Summit County’s cross-country ski trails. If cross country skiing is chosen, there will be less time for curriculum because of the time needed to cultivate this skill.

Social-Emotional Learning & Community Building

social emotional 2 Students will learn about themselves and their peers through social-emotional learning and community building activities.

Students will engage in team building challenges and guided discussion to reflect on emotions, communication, collaboration, and leadership This theme enables students to better appreciate commonalities and respect differences amongst their peers.

While engaging in fun activities, students will work on reducing biases and cliques that commonly develop in schools. This theme bonds students closer together through a shared experience and has a lasting effect on students, even when back in the classroom.