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Volunteers pitch in to create outdoor classrooms at Salt Lake Center for Science Education

SHARE Volunteers pitch in to create outdoor classrooms at Salt Lake Center for Science Education
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Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Ducks swim in a pond as Samantha Hobush, a social studies teacher at the Salt Lake Center for Science Education, right, and Bella Lonardo, a former student at the school, clean up one of two atria at the school in Salt Lake City on Friday. The atria with be used as outdoor classrooms and are part of the school’s teaching and learning strategy for the upcoming school year amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Volunteers are weeding, installing signs, building portable seats and creating shade structures in the outdoor classrooms that can safely accommodate anywhere from eight to 30 students. The school is a free STEM-focused charter school in the Salt Lake City School District. In all, 10 outdoor classrooms will be created at both Salt Lake Center for Science Education campuses. According to Shea Wickelson, a teacher who has helped facilitate the effort, the campuses were surveyed to find spots that would meet the requirements for an outdoor classroom — adequate shade, enough space to safely social distance, access to Wi-Fi, and availability of interesting plants and animals.