Flagstaff 5th Graders Learn About Earth's '4 Spheres' in the Field

Nov 3, 2016

Off the top of your head, can you name the four spheres of Earth? If it’s not coming to you easily, a group of Flagstaff 5th graders can help. The students at Killip Elementary School are studying Earth’s biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Its’ part of a special STEM program to help kids apply real world observations to their school work. On a recent trip to Lake Mary, they worked with scientists and field experts to see Earth’s spheres in action. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan has this audio postcard. 

Credit Justin Regan

Hello my name is Jillian Hernandez, I’m a fifth grade teacher at Killip Elementary School.

It’s a beautiful fall day to be out here with almost seventy fifth graders. This is Lake Mary, we get some of our drinking water from here. It’s important they make these connections and understand. It broadens their horizons and it’s just fun to be outside.

Hello my name is Amadiana I’m in Mrs. Hernandez’s class.

One sphere is the hydrosphere and it is mostly made out of water. And the geosphere is all the rocks, nonliving things. The biosphere is like the trees, the plants and animals and the atmosphere is the air and all the stuff in the sky.

Being out in nature is really fun because I like the plants and how pretty some flowers are and how the trees are so pretty and big.

Hi, my name is Chris Keefe, I’m a naturalist helping out with the biosphere portion of today’s field trip.

Honestly, you can only learn so much from books. So you go out and see the species you’re learning about in your books. Draw the connections between different species and other spheres. And that really gives you a chance to understand how the web of life functions and how all these different systems impact each other.

These kids really need to start to understand so they can understand their role in the world at large.

Hi I’m Olga Docal

My favorite sphere I biosphere because I like discovering new things that I’ve never discovered. The coolest thing I ever found on a nature walk with my friends was there was a dead bird with a head of the bones. There’s only the beak the head and the eyes and the nose.

Every little animal does something to our world. It never stops every little bug can do something to our world.

Hi, my name is Alejandro and I’m in Miss Butterfield’s class in fifth grade.

Something that happened today is we learned about trees taking in air and giving us air. My favorite sphere is biosphere because animals live in our biosphere and without biosphere we wouldn’t be here.

Hello my name is Casey

I don’t go outside very much. It’s fun to be here and to see the lake and everything.

I saw elk prints which were the biosphere, facing the water which was the hydrosphere. And it made me think that elks were drinking the water in the lake. I’ve seen a lot of other animal tracks. But I’ve never seen them facing water like that.

I learned how different earth systems work. They’re all participating to help the world all together and help the world stay healthy. Even if us humans are like leaving trash everywhere they’re still going to work.