Bending, reaching, sifting and very gently pulling on the root systems, Ethan and Daniel work with focus. “We are working on the garlic mustard because it is an invasive species” and with enthusiasm, they show me how to identify the plant both before and after its flowering phase. “This plant came from Europe, – actually England – and the deer there love to eat them.” “Someone brought the plant to North America and the deer here do not like to eat them at all!”
The two boys work together in rhythm and the enthusiastic chatter is all about the deer, insects and human’s inadvertently causing this great change. Their mathematical minds turn the talk to “each patch has many plants and each plant sheds many seeds. Next year this patch would create thousands more and then the next year those thousands shed more seeds” and Cheryl McGovern, who provides the outdoor education support, offers “yes, they grow exponentially don’t they!”
What did they get out of their afternoon at school today? Collaboration, responsibility, effortful work, focus, ethics, accomplishment, contribution, self-competence, math, science, language and great joy!