Forest Becomes Classroom for Hundreds of Homeschool Students

Mike Bondi teaches student

Mike Bondi, with OSU Extension Service, shows a student how to use a Clinometer to measure tree heights. 

More than 400 homeschool students and families gathered for the first Home School Day at Hopkins Demonstration Forest last May.  This free day of outdoor learning included 15 stations throughout the forest offering hands-on educational activities for grades 2-12.  Students learned about map and compass reading, native plant identification, saw mill production, DIY healthy snacks, tree measurement, aquatic invertebrates, animal track identification, forest art and more.  

“It feels like outdoor school in a day,” said Jennifer Lundblad a homeschool parent from Boring. Students were just as excited about the outdoor learning experience.  “My favorite part was identifying all the different plants and seeing the creatures in the water, said Natalie Best, a homeschool student from Portland.” 

 OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners, food and nutrition educators, foresters and many more volunteers rallied to help with the forest field day.  The pilot program was such a success that it will now be an annual event.  

Home School Day 2020 will be held on May 14 from 8:30 am 1:30 pm at Hopkins Demonstration Forest:

Kids spin a wheel

Kids spin a wheel then answer questions about healthy snacks on the trail before making a DIY trail mix.

Master Gardener Show & Tell

OSU Extension Master Gardeners show and tell about native plant species in the native garden they planted at Hopkins.