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      Students showcase their outdoor classroom

      Over 100 seventh graders are showcasing their outdoor classroom. Throughout the entire school year, students help maintain Calumet Township??s Waterworks Park and forest.

      It??s all a part of the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative which gives students the ability to learn and understand their environment.

      ??They??re seeing a little bit of the big picture. I think they??re seeing some of the ways where they could have some type of job in the future. This is real world learning. This is stuff that people do everyday,?? said seventh grade science teacher Darrell Hendrickson.

      Students say they enjoy spending time outside, and they??re learning something new everyday.

      ??Some of the things that I learned in my school are how to use a hypsometer. We learned how to measure 60 foot logs. I think it??s important so that we can learn our environment and how to help it and not hurt it,?? said seventh grader Ema Sackson-Hodges.

      The seventh graders are also giving guided tours throughout the forest. This is the school forest, and students are marking all of the trees that are within the plot with a diameter greater than four inches. They??re learning that the marked trees can be used as pulp for paper products.

      Students also use their skills to find invasive species, like spotted knapweed. So far they??ve collected over 150 pounds.

      ??I think it's fun for them. I think they love getting out and doing stuff like this. I can see it taking root and being here for the future,?? Hendrickson said.

      This fall, the sixth graders will start planting native plants in the forest.