South Orangetown Central School District

Cottage Lane Elementary School has partnered with the Outdoor Science Alliance (OSA) to support hands-on, nature-based science instruction for fourth-grade students.

“This really is an extension of the work Technology Education teacher Jacob Tanenbaum has done for our annual Earth Day program,” explained Principal Karen Ramirez. “He’s always looking to get kids outside and found this new opportunity for us. It’s another opportunity for our students to learn about science from some of the many scientists in our community and by being outside in the state parks that are in our backyard.”

OSA’s Learning in the Parks: Hook Mountain and Nyack Beach State Parks program helps students explore scientific and historical concepts through experiential learning activities in local natural resources. This fall, students are being introduced to the parks through a variety of curriculum-based activities at school which provide them with background information about the social, physical and natural history of the area. In the spring, students will take a field trip to Hook Mountain and Nyack Beach State Parks to reinforce their understanding of the area’s ecosystems, geologic properties and the impact of humans.

“We’re so excited to be working with OSA to do authentic, outdoor education in our local natural environment,” Tanenbaum noted.

The OSA is the educational arm of the Friends of Rockland Lake and Hook Mountain, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of local history and natural resources. OSA provides hands-on learning programs aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards to spark students’ curiosity and to bring the natural sciences alive.

CLE fourth-graders with Outdoor Science Alliance educator in outdoor classroom