KIDS IN THE WOODS
KIDS IN THE WOODS
The Kids in the Woods Program in Gainesville, FL, takes 4th and 6th grade students outside to conduct scientific studies on their school campuses and in nearby nature areas. This program is currently at Westwood Middle School, Stephen Foster Elementary School, and Littlewood Elementary School. Program partners work with students and teachers at Westwood Middle School to explore scientific concepts such as bird feeding behavior, creek erosion and deposition, and tree identification and benefits. The program at the elementary schools focuses on an insect biodiversity study. Students learn about the scientific method - developing a hypothesis, participating in experimental design, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions.
UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
UF School of Forest Resources and Conservation
USDA Forest Service
City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs
Alachua County Environmental Protection Department
School Board of Alachua County
This program has...
Impacted over 3,000 youth participants
Produced over 2,500 volunteer hours from community members
"It's easier for me to learn when I'm doing it rather than reading about it. I love Kids in the Woods because I get to learn about nature and nature is one of my favorite things."
-Westwood 6th grader
The purpose of the bird observation study is for students to learn about the scientific method while enjoying the outdoors and getting to know local bird species. Westwood’s 6th grade scientists learn about experimental design, independent and dependent variables, constants, control groups, repetition, observations, data collection, and analysis.
In this study, students measure creek erosion, deposition, and water flow in Hogtown Creek, which runs through Loblolly Woods. The students measure erosion by creating a stream profile and comparing their results to the previous year's measurements to determine how much erosion occurred.
The purpose of the tree benefits study is for students to learn how to identify local tree species in the nearby Loblolly Woods. Students learn the basics of tree identification and common terms, as well as how to use a dichotomous key to correctly classify and identify trees.
INSECT BIODIVERSITY STUDY
The purpose of the insect biodiversity study is for students to learn about the scientific method while enjoying the outdoors and getting to know local insect orders. The 4th grade scientists learn about experimental design, independent and dependent variables, constants, control groups, repetition, observations, data collection, and analysis.