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Westchester Goes Wild: Students Explore the “Wild Side” of Westchester

Westchester Elementary School in the Kirkwood School District was filled with the buzz of bees, clucks from chickens, and laughter from the students today as the Saint Louis Zoo partnered with Westchester for an outdoor day of learning.

Students spent the school day immersed in learning outdoor skills including how to read a field guide and draw a map, harvesting vegetables from the Westchester garden, and learning how to properly use binoculars and other scientific tools.

At the Westchester Creek, students worked with the Saint Louis zoo educators to test the ammonia levels in the creek. After students collected a sample, they conducted a test to check Ammonia levels in the water. Ammonia levels impact the water quality for survival for tadpoles, worms and isopods. The Westchester levels came back at .02 parts per million, which is a "safe" level for water/marine life.

Other stations included students identifying tree and plant species, identifying insects, and learning about native habitats.

“This was a fantastic day of learning for our students!” said Stefanie Limpert, assistant principal at Westchester. “Thank you to the Saint Louis Zoo for partnering with us. It was great to see kids who can be reluctant to get outdoors, be encouraged to get out of their comfort zone and discover new ways to learn in and experience the outdoors.”