Challenger students experience Florida wetlands without leaving school
SPRING HILL — Mouths dropped as students walked through the door and were immersed in an underwater cave of the Florida aquifer, looking up at the mouth of a natural spring.
Beyond the aquifer model was an equally impressive diaroma of the Florida wetlands, and a variety of hands-on environmental education exhibits and games, all in a 53-foot tractor-trailer transformed into WaterVentures, Florida’s Learning Lab. There were lots of buttons to push, knobs to turn and giant screens that oozed with environmental facts.
The mobile learning lab recently visited Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics two times: on April 11 for fourth-graders, and on April 26 for fifth-graders.
"It’s really cool," said fifth-grade student Grace Bartolomeo. "I feel like I can learn a lot in here."
"I liked learning about the water cycle," said fifth-grader Joseph Rozsa. "It was cool to see how it evaporates ... The aquifer was my favorite."
WaterVentures is a free resource through Crystal Springs Foundation that visits schools, fairs and other events throughout Florida, providing an innovative, hands-on experience on Florida’s watersheds, water conservation and recycling.