AES outdoor classroom opens for student use

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 2010

Learning at Andalusia Elementary just got a little more exciting.

Work on the new outdoor classroom is complete with the exception of a few aesthetics, science teacher Stephanie Nall said.

But that hasn’t stopped Nall from taking her classes to the outdoor classroom for science activities.

Nall said so far she’s taken her classes for some solar activities, but will begin using it more once it is completed.

AES Principal Patty Taylor said the outdoor classroom was made possible by the Martha Dixon foundation and a Lowe’s grant.

Dixon, along with board members Doris Tyler, Phillip Jones and Louisa Mann, were on hand Friday to present a check to help pay for the classroom.

Taylor said she was very thankful to the foundation and contractor Brownie Woodall.

“We could not have done this without the generosity of the foundation,” she said.

The outdoor classroom initiative was begun by former AES science teacher Deb Hughes. Taylor said she was excited about what the outdoor classroom will mean for the students.

“It gives us a place where we can bring our students outside and do science experiments,” she said. “It’s not limited to just science. Students can come out and have a reading or writing assignment out here.”

Taylor said the PTO is working to put picnic tables in the classroom in order to give students a surface to conduct experiments and write.

In addition, the City of Andalusia and Andalusia High School will assist with the landscaping.

Taylor said the outdoor classroom is “an extension of the school.”

Stephanie Nall’s fifth grade class takes water temperature readings at the outdoor classroom at AES. | Andrew Garner/Star-News