Field Notes from Bay Area Afterschool Programs
- March 21, 2024 -

This spring, Headwaters has been excited to partner with Richmond schools to provide an afterschool program for students at three different schools! We are serving around 150 students each week in after school programs, with students ranging in grade level from TK-6 grade.

This semester we are focused on all things birds and a special emphasis is put on Bay Area Birds. Students are learning about the adaptations some birds have and why, their life cycle, and habitats. They put up bird feeders and are asking questions about what we could change about the feeders that may change the number or type of birds we see.

One particular student who is more shy about speaking up has requested to put up a trap camera to see what is coming around when we aren’t there and she is excited to start that process this week.

Allowing students to set the parameters and rules in this way gives them ownership over their questions and their experience with science. Students rarely get to choose what they do, but we offer them those choices when we can to show them, they can be scientists!

Students have enjoyed learning about and identifying their local birds. At one school, they are thrilled to see the main culprit that is eating their birdseed is wild turkeys!

This program provides students with more access to ecological science than what they may get in the classroom. We are encouraging them to be inquisitive and curious about the immediate world around them. Students are learning that sometimes our questions and hypotheses are unanswerable but that the process is important.

Katie Cannon

Katie Cannon

Bay Area Program Manager