By: Angelica Rockquemore
With the mission statement, “learners of today…leaders of tomorrow,” Pālolo Elementary School (Home of the Pugs!) is committed to instilling a visionary mindset and attitude in its students. For Green Apple Day of Service, the school boldly envisioned an Outdoor Learning Lab for students grades K-5 which would help them to meet STEAM-based learning objectives and to allow students opportunities to practice gathering information, analyzing data, and sharing their findings while building a sense of community among the varying grade levels.
HHF designed the features of the Outdoor Learning Lab including a water wall to visualize and manipulate the movement of water at varying elevations (click here to see a demonstration!), a custom weather monitoring data station to understand the patterns of rain, wind, and sun and their effects on climate, and a closed-loop irrigation system that will support a dryland kalo terrace, to demonstrate one approach to water and energy conservation (with design and build help from Pacific Pipe Co.), and a gravel area and footbridge to support other planned STEAM projects.
Pālolo Elementary School and its STEAM-based Outdoor Learning Lab is an exemplary model of place-based, engaging education that promotes an attitude of lifelong learning for tomorrow’s leaders.