Our outdoor classroom, our wetlands ecosystem, is an interdisciplinary learning experience in arts and the environment. At Montrose, the wetlands are a tool to help students become better scientists as they explore nature and connect the curriculum to the physical world.

Think Like a Scientist

6th, 7th and 9th graders apply the principles of the scientific method and imitate the peer review process as they engage with the wetlands.

In the 2021-22 school year, the 7th graders led the experiment "Required water for wetland plants," testing whether a non-wetlands plant, the Marigold, will be able to grow in soil from the wetlands. As their scientific knowledge increased, so too did their responsibility and humility, important habits of mind and character.

Appreciate Truth & Beauty

9th graders create wetlands field guides after determining which local areas are wetlands by observing the hydrology, soils and vegetation. They identify, classify and draw the wetland plants, as well as estimate the populations of the various plant and animal species found therein. 

Students in Photojournalism and Art electives also engage with the Wetlands by drawing and painting the species found and photographing the wetlands species to assess the habitat and reflect on its beauty. 

In addition to furthering their STEAM skills in data collection, observation and classification, students are given the opportunity to be inspired by the intersection of science and beauty in nature.

Develop Research Skills

Students in middle and high school used plant identification apps to identify various wetland plant species. In order to strengthen the accuracy of their identifications, students researched and verified whether the plants they had identified were wetland species found in Massachusetts. 

As they planned and conducted research, they strengthened such habits of mind as curiosity and thoroughness. Read more about recent work in the campus wetlands.

Pope Francis in Laudato Si', no. 14

We need a conversation, which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all. 

Biologist Sarah Hanna

B.S., Master of Teaching, University of Toronto

As the Biologist for Montrose, Ms. Hanna tracks the flood plain, pond and wetlands on campus and classifies the plants and animals that call it home. She also creates opportunities for students to learn about the vital ecosystem therein as she conducts her research.

Student Reflection

I learned that not all wetland soil is good thick soil, and it is often filled with roots, leaves, sand etc. I especially enjoyed being able to explore in the water and test each area to find the richest soil.
An independent school for girls in grades 6-12
Inspired by the teachings of the Catholic Church