Named for our first head of school, the David Heath Outdoor Education Center is a favorite campus location for students and staff alike. The combination outdoor classroom, organic food and flower garden, weather center, native wildlife habitat, and compost center is also host for the school’s solar panels. The Outdoor Education Center (OEC) provides a wealth of opportunities for education and recreation: picking berries, planting and germinating seeds, harvesting, sifting compost, painting, writing poetry, or dangling feet in the pond. The school garden is a living lab where Marin Primary & Middle School students study math, science and the basic processes that sustain life. Year-round, teachers and students investigate the life cycle of plants, the process of natural decomposition, the water cycle, the effect of insects, bacteria, weather and pollutants on soil and the environment. Students utilize math skills such as geometry to measure garden plots and determine appropriate amounts and placement of seeds. The scientific method is applied to experiments on materials for plant propagation. The music program, Projects Lab, and art classes also make use of the garden to expand their programs.
Through gardening, students become responsible caretakers. They have an opportunity to engage in agricultural practices on a small scale, learning about the impacts of land cultivation. The OEC has become the place where abstract ideas and problems, formerly studied in textbooks and solved on blackboards, are brought to life and made relevant.
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