Robinson Elementary takes classroom outside
Liz Pauli loves seeing students spend time at Robinson Elementary School's new outdoor teaching theater.
When I teach students about butterflies, they can actually go out and find a chrysalis," the fourth grade math and science teacher said.
We've even done math outside. It's a good place to go to apply knowledge you've gained in the classroom. It's available for any of the kids or any of the teachers to use at any time."
The theater, which was dedicated Nov. 17, comprises a weatherproof stage for teachers surrounded by a group of weatherproof benches.
The site is surrounded by the school's butterfly and hummingbird garden, which was created in May 2007.
The projects were spearheaded by Robinson's PTA.
The school, 451 Kirby Drive, received financial and volunteer contributions from chemical company LyondellBasell, which supported this effort as part of its 2007 Global Care Day.
The event invited companies across the globe to participate in a community service project that involves the environment, education or community sustainability.
LyondellBasell sent 80 representatives from its Bayport Underwood Plant to help Robinson create its garden.
It's a key part of our volunteer activities to help the schools get the resources they need to give a proper education to the students," said Joe Marschhauser, Bayport Underwood plant manager.
Marschhauser was among the LyondellBassell representatives who returned to the school in November for the teaching theater dedication.
I was really happy to see the way they laid it out to allow teachers to conduct lessons out there," he said.
Additional funds and materials came from Seabrook-based Bay Area Trees, a greenhouse and nursery that provides landscaping and tree services; the Seabrook Association, a community organization working toward the betterment of Seabrook; Gulf Coast Limestone, also in Seabrook, which provides limestone, cement, sand and other road products; and the Clear Lake Forest and Nassau Bay Garden Clubs.
Pauli sees the club as an opportunity not only to teach students about their natural world, but also to introduce them to the benefits of being outdoors.
As kids go outside, there are more things to observe; they use all of their senses," she said.
Pauli wants pupils to get to know their outdoor environments.
Kids have so much structured activity time," she added. Just playing outdoors and being creative is good for them. When they're spending time outside, not necessarily in the teaching theater, they're finding something to do that they come up with themselves."
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