Chesterfield Elementary students gathered for a lesson in an outdoor classroom, April 19. In fact, they were studying science in a tree.
Using rappelling equipment, and wearing helmets and protective gear, students worked their way up and down ropes hanging from tree limbs to get a new perspective.
Fifth-grade science teacher Heather Vitale said, "The concept of simple machines is one of the things kids struggle with. So we came up with this to get students to focus on simple machines and spend some time appreciating nature."
While some students studied simple machines, others experimented with mass by dropping balls of different sizes and weights to see which hit the ground faster.
Fifth-grade student Katherine Limburg said, "Doing the outdoor activity is way more fun, because you get to really experience it, and sometimes it just makes more sense when you see it."
"It's not scary, it's fun," said student Josh Linzotti. "We get to drop these balls at the same time to see if they hit the ground at the same time or different times."
Chesterfield's PTO helped sponsor the outdoor activity.
"Parents are excited because kids are coming home and telling them about their experience, and what they learned," she said.