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STEM Field Day at Mays for Highland Park Elementary

by Daniel Hernandez for the Alamo Area BSA: May 2, 2018

It is never a dull moment with the Boys scouts of America, Alamo Area Council. On Monday, April 16, 2018, our Council's Director of Scouting Operations, Sean Magnuson, our Chief Storyteller, Angel Zuniga Martinez, and myself loaded up our cameras and headed out to the Southside of San Antonio off Hwy 16 to the Mays Family Scout Ranch.  In a race for time, we arrived within minutes before the buses of Highland Park Elementary did. As soon as the kids unloaded the buses and our cameras were ready to film, our Monday morning adventure had gone into full effect.

As the students and teachers lined up in single file lines, divided by their classrooms, Outdoor Education Executive, Chris Payne, along with 3 other volunteer staff members, greeted them. After introductions and learning the traditional three raised finger scout sign, the students of Highland Park Elementary were off to explore the 140 acres that the Mays Family Scout Ranch had to offer.

Each staff member had their own educational agenda as the students from each class got to capture a hands-on learning experience in various outdoor activities. They were able to get another look on outdoor Life Science as the staff members taught them about earth study ecosystems, plant adaptions, insect metamorphosis, and encouraging the most important part about the trip, playing in the dirt! 

Chris Payne took his students on a trail hike a little further out, through Elm creek, with a very scenic route that finds them along the banks of the Medina River. He engaged his group in earth science, the study of a rocks and their life span over the years in the wild life.  Demonstrating the meaning of chemical weathering, Chris applied Hydrochloric acid to a rock and showed the students the actual break down of chemical bonds on the rock itself.  As the group continued their trail, they gathered around by a nearby picnic table, Chris began to explain the meaning of porosity and permeability by pouring water into three different test tubes with clay, sand, and silt in them to see which tube filled up the fastest. 

With so many fun things to encounter, The Mays Family Scout Ranch is always finding ways to bring opportunities for outdoor activities and adventures to more youth. With hands–on STEM learning in nature’s classroom and endless possibilities to see, explore, investigate and enjoy. It is truly an adventure from start to finish.   

To learn more or schedule a Field Day for your school at the Mays Family Scout Ranch, please visit Link or email or call 210-341-8611 and ask for the Outdoor Ed Team over the Mays.

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