Outdoor Science School, Santa Cruz County

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2017-18 Staff Photo

Welcome to Santa Cruz County Resident Outdoor Science School, a school without walls or desks, sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The Outdoor Science School experience is available to fifth and/or sixth grade students accompanied by their classroom teacher who spend four or five days living on site.

Classes are conducted in the forest, at the edge of the creek, in the chapparral, and in the meadow. The most useful tools for learning are readily available: the students' five senses. The subject area most emphasized in this hands-on learning experience is the science of ecology, the relationship between living things and their environment. From an understanding of basic ecological concepts, it is hoped that a deeper concern and sense of reponsibility for the environment will result.

A second and equally important outcome of the program is the social aspect. The 3 Rs are emphasized, respect, responsibility, and reliability, and are reinforced through the sharing of chores and small group living. Sharing cabin living encourages making new friends and dealing with problems as they occur. The students are also encouraged to understand the importance of a positive attitude and the value of being willing to adapt to new settings and situations.

Another value of the program is the opportunity for supervised leadership training and community service offered to high school students who serve as cabin leaders. Information regarding this program can be found on the numerous pages throughout our web site. Have fun!