Skip To Main Content

Mobile Main Navigation

Outdoor Education

Students dissecting squid at picnic tables outside.

Amazing discoveries wait for students when they open the door.

Time spent in nature lowers stress, promotes physical activity and inspires creativity. Students feel better, behave better, focus better and perform better at work or school, studies say.

Teachers at Corbett Prep regularly use the campus as an extension of the learning environment.

Middle School students paddle across the lake to take samples to monitor water quality and examine drops under microscopes. PreK4 children plant bean sprouts and measure their growth for a "Farm to Table" International Baccalaureate unit. Third graders figure out physics by building their own catapults and launching items across the lawn. Picnic tables become outdoor lab stations for squid dissections and messy experiments, and students pack yoga mats to sit on during outdoor reading or art time.

Even a short walk along the tree-lined boardwalk to the gym, cafeteria or App Lab provides a healthy dose of what author Richard Louv calls "Vitamin N." Connecting to the natural world is part of our humanity, Louv says on his blog.

“The more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need.”Richard Louv, author

On the days when it’s too busy to head out or the weather has different ideas, the beautiful views still offer benefits.

Several studies have found that seeing greenery from school buildings can increase test scores, graduation rates and the likelihood students will attend college, according to the nonprofit Children & Nature Network.

Students working in the Tomlin Family Application Lab look up from their books to gaze out of floor-to-ceiling windows with a view of the lake. Third and fourth grade classrooms overlook a small pond, where students have spotted herons and otters along with the peacocks that frequent the campus. Rather than distracting students, the view outside recharges drained batteries.

A student finds a quiet spot at a picnic table outside to work on her laptop.
Parents, students and teachers pose near a giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands.

Off-Campus Explorations

Middle School science teachers have coordinated experiential learning opportunities to involve entire families in discovering the wonders of the world around them.

They have led a group of students and parents through the Galapagos Islands and Belize, part of a series of overseas trips with a science focus. In Spring Break 2025, students and teachers will visit Iceland.

Closer to home, teachers have organized snorkeling trips with manatees, beach clean-ups, nature preserve hikes, and a behind-the-scenes look at sustainable farming. During one Middle School elective, students even were able to complete their scuba certification.

Contact Cynthia Whitney for more information