Engage, Dig-In, Apply!

Engage, Dig-In, Apply!

FSI Pollinator Pathway 001
Andy Kennedy literally digs-in to help maintain the FSI Monarch Waystation garden during the Saturday workday with our friends from the Arboretum.
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“Dig-In, Engage, and Apply!” These Expeditionary Learning “norms” are upheld by students, teachers, and administrators in all that we do at FSI!
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Thank you, Caroline and Andy Kennedy, for engaging in support for our pollinator pathway, on behalf of monarchs, pollinators, and our campus ecology!
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Please help us identify this mystery species! It looks like an ornamental fruit tree, but we’d like to make sure it’s not an invasive, as FSI students and teachers work to eradicate certain pesky & unwelcome plants, such as bittersweet, knotweed, poison ivy, and the very prolific pokeweed, from our outdoor classroom and hiking trails.
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Sarah Gold’s 7th grade science scholars dig-in, engage, and apply knowledge about micro-organisms, including single-celled creatures, water quality, and how scientists use art and math to record observations.
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Speaking of water quality, Tracy Lynn’s 8th graders are raising trout, in collaboration with Trout Unlimited. Come by his classroom to see the thriving trout “fry”…. these little guys are growing every week! Students will apply water quality knowledge in making decisions about when and where to release the grownup trout later this year.
Spirited 9th-10th grade faculty team meeting early morning before-school to dig-in, engage, and apply professional learning during Spirit Week! Professional Learning Crews meet monthly to focus horizontally on Grade Level Expedition-planning and data, and vertically, by Subject Area, to map curriculum and share best Expeditionary Learning practices.
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Mr. Byan helps students dig-in, engage, and apply math inquiry, thinking, and skills in The Parabola Project! (FSInnovations will feature some examplars in the coming weeks!)
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Ms. Peggy Altman’s Math I students recently applied and assessed their understanding of linear regression in project-based¬†analysis of data they’d collected at FSI.
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Speaking of digging-in, we are super excited at the progress being made on campus to prepare the FSI Administrative Office building! This photo was taken during the Fall Festival, and the building has been “set” in place since then! Woo hoo!
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Friends digging into sweet treats at the FSI Fall Festival; what a gorgeous day to be on campus with our larger community!  
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Cameron’s Innovation Project was featured at the FSI Fall Festival! He sold all the lettuce for a great cause.
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Student Government representatives applied artistic design skills in their pumpkin painting at the Fall Festival.
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FSI 8th graders had blue skies for the launch of their first bird-watching data collection in Project-EXPLORE, a long term citizen science project in collaboration with the Asheville Arboretum. Our campus is a fantastic site for monitoring bird migration, as well as learning about residents, seasonal, visitors, and Avian Ecology in general.
The Adventure Education class has completed the loop trail… from the Hominy Creek stream-side classroom, all the way through the woodlands and back to the Monarch Waystation and pollinator pathway . Thank you, Chris DeFiore, for engaging students in this service-learning project! During the trail-blazing, students learned to identify indigenous and invasive species and how to prevent erosion along Hominy Creek.

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2 thoughts on “Engage, Dig-In, Apply!

  1. The mystery plant looks like a Bradford Pear seedling. I need to get a better look. Though sold in droves at the garden centers, the Bradford Pear (or Callery Pear, Pyrus calleryana) is highly invasive. The birds love the fruit and freely distribute the seeds after a meal. They are easily spotted in the early spring when they are flowering. Look for them en masse, choking the fence rows and woodland edges. I will be on campus later today and will try to get a look to confirm.


    1. Thanks, Andy! I thought it was some species related to Bradford pear too, but I’ve gotten word that it is probably an invasive crabapple, also needing to be eradicated. Too bad that such a pretty little sappling has to go. Much better to tackle this before it mass produces. I’m so grateful to have consultants in our community for identifying invasives and such.


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