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Watershed outing helps Witherspoon Middle School students sharpen powers of observation

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Students from John Witherspoon Middle School came to the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed for two days of hands-on science, exploration and team building.
Each team of about 110 students visited for one day to learn about the natural world with the Watershed’s educators.
These outings offer an opportunity for team building and collaboration while the students learn science in a natural setting. The students learned about sustainability, team dynamics, built debris shelters and observed their surroundings for writing haiku poems based on their senses.
Teachers said the Watershed trip helps unify students, who attended one of the four elementary schools last year or are newcomers to the Princeton Joint Unified School District.
“This trip builds camaraderie,” said science teacher Jacques Bazile. “The haiku is observing nature as they get to know each other’s feelings through their communication in the poems. The shelter and team building are core; the students pay attention to team dynamics and who led and who followed.”
Science teacher Allison Ramus said Watershed outings help students sharpen their powers of observation and energizes them in a new, different setting.
“This fall trip is a get-to-know you adventure where the students meet new people,” she said. “At the same time, they are learning more about the environment where they live.”
From trusting a new classmate to be led – blind folded – through imaginary watery obstacle courses to building shelters from branches, bark and Japanese stilt grasses, the students were immersed in learning outdoors.

Tyler Dzbenski
Henry Doran and Maz Majeski have some fun at the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed.
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