Each week CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) Middle School offers rich and exciting learning experiences, including both indoor and outdoor classrooms!

Meigs Point Nature Center with CT Experiential Learning Center (CELC) Middle School

Week of 24 – 28 October included data collection and analysis of water quality along the Mill River with Whitney Water Center’s Project Water. This was the culminating field experience that followed an introductory study of watersheds. Students tested water samples for nitrates, pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature in rural, suburban, and urban locations along the Mill River between Hamden and New Haven. Students then compared the relative health of the samples in each location, discussing factors that contribute to water quality and how certain types of activity specific to each area affect the health of the system.

As part of a grant CELC received from The Whitney Water Center,

CELC will continue work to learn about watersheds and focus on a study of the Farm River, specifically comparing river to pond habitats at a site in North Branford located adjacent to historic Roger’s Mill Pond.

Students have the opportunity to engage in an ongoing study, working in conjunction with local ornithologist Celia Lewis, geologist and director of Everyone Outside! Lucy Meigs, along with education director of Project Water Lisa DiFrancesco. The project includes a study of the aquatic bird species, aquatic organisms, as well as a comparative study of the relationships among the flora and fauna of river and pond ecosystems.

Designing a faerie village as part of an academics study? Yes – this is one of the many creative projects CELCers get to do, and it is all curriculum integrated experiential learning! Components of writing, history, geography, artistic endeavors, as well as some math all play an integral part.

With this year’s theme of Ancient to Modern Civilizations, students have an opportunity to investigate cultural tradition throughout the world, dating from thousands of years ago to the present, to learn about a myriad of folklore and traditions that exist and have to do with “Wee Folk”.

In conjunction with our study, the Florence Griswold Museum held its annual Wee Faerie Village exhibit. Florence Griswold’s designer and project director David Rau met and spoke with CELC students to provide insights into how the various artists researched the topic, created their designs, and ultimately installed this exhibit. Imaginations came alive as students trekked along the mapped-out path, traveling around the world to appreciate the creative artists’ interpretation of wee folk lands from the pyramids of Egypt to the abandoned castles of Ireland, from Spanish cathedrals to London’s Big Ben.

The CELCers now set out to create their own version, focusing on the Netherlands, Ireland, Russia, Caribbean, and Hawaii. Researching geographic locations and known wee folk traditions, imaginations and creativity abound! The public is invited to visit CELC’s first Wee Faerie Village Wednesday, 14 December 3:15 – 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served!

The week of 31 October – 4 November CELC continues to rock on. Classes in all subject areas, working on an organic farm, drama class at Long Wharf Theatre, ornithology with Celia, and the beat goes on!

These days with movies entitled “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” students at CELC may be considered outliers! CELC students actually love their middle school (5th – 8th grade) years!

~Click on any image to view a scrollable gallery.

Find out more – come see us in action during our Mondays Visit Day, 9 :45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. RSVP [email protected] or call 203.433.4658.  Accepting applications now for 2017-18 academic year.