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AISD Breaks Ground on Living Laboratory; Outdoor Habitat Offers Hands-on Learning Opportunities in Nature

Austin, Texas—The Austin Independent School District, the National Wildlife Federation and community volunteers are breaking ground on a district-wide, science lab and classroom, an outdoor habitat that will feature plants and materials native to Central Texas and learning stations that will connect AISD students with nature.

What: AISD and its partners will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the outdoor habitat and will unveil the model for the educational site to the public.

When: 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 20

Where: AISD’s Science and Health Resource Center, 305 N. Bluff Dr., adjacent to Pleasant Hill Elementary.

Background: AISD’s outdoor habitat offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a living laboratory. In addition to creating a community environment for field trips, the habitat will provide professional development opportunities for science teachers who are interested in gaining training in outdoor education and field investigation.

The new model habitat—developed by the district’s science curriculum department, Environmental Survey Consulting and the NWF—is an important addition to AISD’s outdoor classrooms and science labs. During the past two years, 18 schoolyard habitats have been developed at Bailey, Bedichek, Burnet, Covington, Garcia, Fulmore, Gorzycki, Martin, Murchison, O. Henry, and Webb middle schools, as well as at Brooke, Dawson, Ortega, Paredes, Rodriguez, Widen and Zavala elementary schools. The project was funded by the National Wildlife Federation, who received grants from the Toyota USA foundation, 3M and HEB.

For more information, please visit AISD's Science and Health Resource Center website.