What is an OWLS?
OWLS is an acronym for Outdoor Wildlife Learning Sites. It is a Program sponsored by the Chickadee Checkoff of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. An OWLS is an outdoor environmental/wildlife laboratory, at or near a school, consisting of one or more native habitat features. It is designed to attract native wildlife and to facilitate multi-discipline learning opportunities for students.
OWLS sites provide fantastic opportunities for learning more about nature through such activities as planting trees, establishing butterfly and hummingbird gardens, and creating wetlands for tadpoles.
Why Do We Need OWLS?
Each new generation eventually assumes responsibility for our environment. OWLS is designed to help stimulate more learning. To help prepare children, it is necessary to emphasize educational programs that deal with ecology and wildlife. It is well established that "hands on" activities greatly enhance a student's ability to understand concepts and facts. One of the best ways to accommodate this is to provide natural environments at or near school property. That is why the OWLS site was established adjacent to Goddard High School.
OWLS projects provide opportunities to integrate across the curriculum using a thematic approach. Here are a few examples of how the OWLS project at Goddard High School could help to support instructional objectives and tie to subject areas.