Partner Spotlight: Outdoor Classroom

Jen BloomFront Page, Partners

Partner Spotlight: Outdoor Classroom

A Journey into Nature-Based STEM Education

We are proud to spotlight Outdoor Classroom, a remarkable informal education organization that has been an invaluable partner in our mission to provide exceptional STEM experiences for students in and beyond the classroom.

Outdoor Classroom is not merely an organization but a movement, a philosophy, and a transformative force in STEM education. Since its inception in 2015, Outdoor Classroom has been on a mission to develop and instill a STEM mindset in young innovators, teachers, and non-traditional educators. What sets them apart is their intentional and heartfelt commitment to inclusivity, ensuring that individuals with diverse learning needs and challenges are not only included but thrive in their programs.

The synergy between TRSA and Outdoor Classroom is evident in our joint initiatives, including our longest-running professional development, SENSESational Science. And as part of the inaugural cohort of our MOMENTUM digital badge program, Outdoor Classroom is at the forefront of shaping credentialing for learning experiences in expanded learning programs.

The organization primarily focuses on communities in Tulsa grappling with socio-economic challenges, and additionally, it is committed to reaching individuals with learning differences or physical challenges. The Outdoor Classroom extends its welcoming environment beyond traditional public schools and youth organizations, catering to diverse groups such as A New Leaf, The Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, Moore Elementary special education students, Town & Country School, and Patrick Henry Elementary’s students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

As Outdoor Classroom embarks on a thrilling new phase as a fresh, stand-alone entity, establishing a vibrant Base Camp at Mohawk Park in January 2024, they carry with them a legacy of inclusivity. This transition symbolizes a remarkable journey, evolving from the wooded Camp Loughridge to the Tulsa Garden Center at Woodward Park and now spreading their wings into the expansive Mohawk Park.

This award-winning organization has already served over 23,000 young citizen scientists and adults, and with this new endeavor, Outdoor Classroom aims to double that number in the next four years, spawning satellite programs in the Tulsa area. This brave new adventure at Base Camp Mohawk Park promises to be a nature-based STEM haven for young scholars from Tulsa Public Schools and Union, inspiring a new generation of innovators.

Learn more about Outdoor Classroom and its plans in a letter shared by Executive Director Brian Bovaird.

As they embark on this thrilling new phase, we proudly stand beside Outdoor Classroom, eagerly anticipating the transformative impact of their innovative approach to nature-based STEM learning on the young minds they inspire.