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Our Commitment to Outdoor Education

In a world dominated by screens and schedules, a movement has taken root — the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. Encouraging families and educators to prioritize outdoor time, this initiative recognizes the profound impact nature has on a child's development. At Orchard STEM School, we wholeheartedly embrace this challenge, weaving it into the fabric of our daily routine to ensure that every student benefits from the transformative power of extended time outdoors. Research consistently underscores the benefits of outdoor play, from improved physical health to enhanced cognitive abilities. Our commitment to providing three or more hours outside during the school day, with additional time in favorable weather, positions each student to effortlessly meet this goal.





Extended outdoor time nurtures physical well-being, fostering active lifestyles and reducing the risk of sedentary-related issues. In our orchard-centered learning environment, students engage in activities that promote motor skills, coordination, and overall fitness. Time spent in nature has been linked to improved concentration, heightened creativity, and enhanced problem-solving skills. Our outdoor classrooms provide a backdrop for hands-on learning experiences that transcend the limitations of traditional indoor settings. Whether it's studying pollination amidst blossoming flowers or engaging in collaborative projects under the open sky, every moment spent outdoors contributes to intellectual growth and academic success.


As we immerse our students in the wonders of our orchard, we recognize the long-lasting impact of these experiences. We aim to shape a generation of individuals who not only appreciate the beauty of nature but carry the lessons learned outdoors into every facet of their lives.


At Orchard STEM School, the commitment to extended outdoor time is not just a challenge; it's a fundamental aspect of our educational philosophy. By providing plenty of extended time outside in nature, we are sowing the seeds for a future generation that cherishes, protects, and continues to be inspired by the great outdoors.


Lori Openshaw (Co-Founder)

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