An elementary staff member's vision has ignited Blissfield Community School District and community to secure funding for the Blissfield Environmental Life Lab (BELL) that is at the cutting edge of life science investigation. Since our school is in a northern climate, it is sometimes difficult for students to observe and experiment year-round with plants and animals, and witness all stages of development from young to adult without interruption.
The BELL has become an arboretum and terrarium, furnished with various habitats and biomes for observation and experimentation, allowing the entire district to use as an extended classroom. A 1500-gallon freshwater stream/pond, butterfly house, 1500-gallon saltwater ecosystem, bird aviary, herpetile area, and incredible invertebrate zoo provide habitats and various biomes and ecosystems that offers areas to study throughout the school year.
Blissfield students are now doing experiments and obtaining knowledge as they make predictions about life science and our environment. Knowledge is deeply set as children invest part of themselves in exploring plants, animals, or various habitats found within the climatically controlled greenhouse.
Many local businesses and organizations in our agricultural community have made a long time commitment to the elementary staff and students to see this dream continue on. Individual classroom teachers, along with their students, parents and community members have invested themselves, their time and their resources to develop a teaching tool and state of the art facility for not only our elementary students, but across district use as we see other schools once hearing about the lab want to tour.
As a staff we have seen great strides with our school improvement plan, as the BELL has provided hands on science at its best. Following is a video clip done by LISD staff, Sonja Sprague. Viewing will give the view an idea of the BELL. You may want to visit Mr. Koppelman's web pages as well to see how the 5th graders utilize the BELL.