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Rumpus in the Rainforest!

October 24, 2012

Experiencing the Amazon rainforest first hand is an incredible opportunity – and for some a lifelong dream.  Jon Strube, an elementary principal from Indiana, set his sights on the Amazon seven years ago and worked tenaciously to find a way to get there.  Last summer, Jon’s dream finally came true.  With the help of a grant from the Eli Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program, Jon joined a lively group of educators on our 2012 Amazon Workshop for Educators.

And what a lively group it was!  We raised a rumpus as we joyfully explored the rainforest and as a result we came to understand that there are times when  you have to set aside the formalities of science and let your creative juices flow.  Sometimes viewing the Amazon through the lens of the arts and humanities makes the Amazon understandable in ways that a thousand data points cannot.  The same is true for the students in our classrooms!  Infusing our science lessons with a dash of art or a pinch of music is a great way to open the door to curiosity and wonder.

Jon is using his Amazon experience to do just that.  Next summer Jon will launch the first annual summer enrichment theatre camp for his students at Tzouanakis Intermediate School.  Principal Strube, along with TZ fine arts department educators, Dessa Frank and Carrie Hamilton, will bring to life the rainforest through the musical, The Rumpus in the Rainforest, by Bad Wolf Press. Jon will use his adventure in the Amazon and first-hand experience of the rainforest to infuse more knowledge and artifacts into the production.  The students of Tzouanakis Intermediate School will have the opportunity to explore the Amazon rainforest while they expand and enrich their musical and artistic craft all the while learning more about this exceptional natural resource and wonder.

Great work Jon!  We hope you can post a video clip of the production so we can see your students in action!

JOIN THE DISCUSSION!  How do you infuse the humanities into your science teaching?  How do you make the Amazon come alive in your classroom?

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