Later this morning, I'll be addressing a group of Agawam H.S. students at Robinson SP. The objective is to introduce students to simple tree measurements and work from the absolute most basic measurements upward as far as it makes sense to go. I have no idea what to expect, but I hope to challenge the students' imaginations and desire to know more about their forests. Robinson SP has the 4th highest Rucker Index of all the sites we've surveyed in Massachusetts and sports the champion tall tuliptree. There is definitely resources in Robinson to work with, and three math teachers will be present (two retired) to help students grasp the principles that will be applied.
I admit to feeling a little awkward. My entire teaching career of 24 years was at the college level. I've done some field trips for high schools and grade schools in the past with mixed results. My hope has been to find a school that has, let's say a math club, and appeal to students who have a very focused interest in that subject and challenge them to make math work in the field. If some young minds catch fire, it could be exciting. The question is whether or not I have what it takes to spark their interest. We'll see.
If this experiment works we will attempt to expand it, first in Agawam High and then elsewhere. Stranger experiments have worked.
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder and Executive Director
Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest