Islip Middle School students enrolled in the district’s Excel Gifted Education program learned that taking a hike or camping out in the woods is serious business and that being prepared with a backpack full of the right tools is of the utmost importance.
During a two-part unit of study, wilderness preparedness teacher Dr. Scott Bronson educated the students on the equipment needed to stay safe in the woods and the science and technology crucial in making a fire to stay warm. During the second part of the unit, students will learn how to create shelter.
Dr. Bronson started his presentation with an explanation about tinder and other natural substances like birch bark and cotton that can catch a spark for a fire. After the students made a bird nest out of the separated fibers of a jute string, he took them outside to learn to spark their fires with a fire starter.
He also explained that making a fire requires responsibility and can take patience. “Fire requires a super amount of respect,” Dr. Bronson said. “ You don’t want to give up. You’d be surprised what’s inside of you.”