High School Science Experiential Learning

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”Benjamin Franklin’s philosophy of learning mirrors the LPCS approach to experiential education. We seek to move our students outside our classroom walls in order to develop real life application skills. Mr. Gary Moughler’s approach to his high school Environmental Science and Medical Forensics classes epitomizes this exploration outside the classroom. “It was an awesome year in these courses as we took several field trips,” shares Mr. Moughler. First, the Environmental Science class visited a local dairy farm, where they witnessed an automated milking operation – one of the largest in the area. Students learned how robots milk and feed the cows and how computers monitor which cows have been milked and how many times. The computer systems even monitor any health issues in the cows. As the culmination of their unit on habitats, the class then visited the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo to practice identifying and describing the various habitats represented there, naming what organisms can be found in those habitats. Finally, to wrap up the agriculture unit, the students visited the Fort Wayne Farm Show, one of the biggest such shows in the Midwest. There, our Environment Science students were introduced to the many new technology products and services offered at the show.
Perhaps most unique in the field trip resumé for the year, Mr. Moughler’s Medical Forensics class toured the crime lab at the Indiana State Police Post in Fort Wayne. They were shown how fingerprints are collected and processed and were also shown by technicians how presumptive testing can be used on substances to confirm the presence or absence of blood. “It is one thing to be inside looking at textbooks, videos, or doing a lab, but it is another to get students outside, seeing people with real life experiences working with the topic at hand,” shares Mr. Moughler. “Learning outside the classroom is critical; it opens students’ eyes to professions they might be interested in and allows them to make contacts that could be vital for future internships or employment opportunities.”