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6th Grade Studies Astronomy in the Darkness of Cayo Costa

As part of their astronomy block, the 6th graders of the Suncoast Waldorf School spent three nights camping on the island of Cayo Costa; a Florida State Park only accessible by boat.  The remote location of the island makes it perfect for the study of astronomy due to the lack of light pollution.

Main lesson began each night at 9:30 and consisted of stories about the constellations and the study of the movement of celestial bodies.  The 6th graders were able to experience a blanket of stars impossible in the light of an urban environment.

During the days on the island, the 6th graders went sailing, went fishing, hiked, swam, climbed trees, explored, played games and really just had fun being with one another.   There was enough fish caught by the students to provide two meals. Ask any of the 6th graders about how delicious fish tacos can be.

In addition to the study of astronomy, the students also had to apply other skills in preparation for the four days on the island.  Groups of students worked together to plan, budget, shop for, and prepare the meals on the island.  This included doing the dishes!!  This trip also served as the practical application of math concepts the class is studying as well as an exercise in teamwork.

Upon return to school, the 6th grade has further studied the concepts first experienced during their camping trip to Cayo Costa.  For the students the learning that took place during this adventure may be difficult to quantify, but the memories will last a lifetime.

By: Ryan Thompson, 6th Grade Class Teacher