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Grand Opening of Nassau BOCES Outdoor Education Center

Ribbon Cutting The great outdoors just got bigger as Nassau BOCES opened its new Outdoor Education Center at the Historic Masters Garage at Caumsett State Park. Complementing the current outdoor education programs, the Center will offer students the opportunity to research what they are seeing in the park.

Caumsett State Park is a unique property in that it is the only place on Long Island that has five ecosystems: pond, salt marsh, forest, seashore and fields. This access to some of the most diversified environmental landscape in the region provides students with opportunities to apply outdoor learning. Nassau BOCES has been offering programs at the park for over 40 years.

“We crafted an environment with a learning theory build into it,” said Dr. Valerie D’Aguanno, Assistant Director, Nassau BOCES Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology at the ribbon cutting. We took Dr. David Thornburg’s (author of Campfires in Cyberspace) ideas and brought them to a whole new level,” she continued.

The Center was designed around four learning spaces: 

The campfire – where students can gather to learn from expert naturalists.

A cave area with digital microscopes and laptops

A watering hole space for students to share information at tree ring table tops.

The life space – where students explore the Caumsett Park.

The Outdoor Education Center is also, for the first time in the park, wired for Wi-Fi. The Center has a Nureva Span Board where students can watch wildlife, listen to their sounds and learn about the outdoor environment before actually seeing it in person. Students will be able to use the laptop cart to put all their notes and then link it back to their classrooms.

For more information regarding the Outdoor and Environmental Education Center and the Adventure Education program, please visit www.nassauboces.org/outdoors.