Dallas County High uses grant to build pondPublished 8:23pm Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thanks to a grant from the city of Valley Grande, students at Dallas County High School can take their knowledge of environmental science and apply it in an outdoor classroom.
With the help of her students, Cathleen Johnson, environmental science and zoology teacher at Dallas County High School, constructed a pond where her students can experiment and study insects and fish. And Johnson said she wasn’t the only one who was excited about the school’s new addition.
“The students took great pride in constructing it and I think they’re really excited about using it,” Johnson said while teaching her 10th grade environmental science class.
After hearing several ideas from area teachers, the Valley Grande City Council chose Johnson’s outdoor aquatic classroom as a project to award grant money to. Johnson received $1,500 to construct the pond, which is in the courtyard area of Dallas County High School.
“Instead of talking about science and looking at pictures, I can actually take my students outside so they can experience it,” Johnson said.
Keyonis Phillips, 10th grade student, said he and his classmates enjoyed helping their teacher construct the outdoor classroom.
“It was remarkable to see it all come together,” Phillips said. “It was a great experience and I think it helped everyone to connect with each other.”
Anthony Blevins, also in the 10th grade, agreed with Phillips and said he’s excited about using the pond once the weather warms up and plants and animals are placed in it.
“It was incredible to build this with my fellow peers,” he said. “Ms. Johnson is an amazing teacher and I thank her for giving us this opportunity.”
Johnson said she plans on filling the pond with plants, insects and fish so students can observe them and collect data to apply what they learn in the classroom.
“This will be a great resource for me and the students,” she said. “I can’t wait to use it and I thank the city of Valley Grande for giving us this great opportunity.”