June 6, 2016 - Sixth grade students from Jeff Glaser’s Environmental Science class at St. Louise School in Bellevue, Wash., spent the morning on June 1 at Glendale Country Club learning hands-on science. Students visited three learning stations around the golf course. They learned about the technology used to maintain golf greens, identified bugs from a pond on the golf course, and applied their math skills to figure out the surface area of a green. Afterwards, the students got to putt on a practice green.

Laurie Devereaux from the City of Bellevue guided the students through their macro-invertebrate hunt and taught them that the presence of macro invertebrates (in quantity and diversity) indicates water health.

This field trip was part of First Green’s STEM program, which uses golf courses as learning labs. Golf course superintendents need to be highly-trained in STEM to manage their golf courses; they share this knowledge with teachers and students, showing real world applications that inspire student interest in STEM.

Rogan, one of the sixth-graders, said, “We learned about microorganisms in the water, like dragonflies bugs and boatmen, and we caught some of them and looked at the variety.... We learned how to take care of a green on a golf course. We got to come and play golf!” When was asked about her favorite part of the golf course, Elsa replied, “I think it was fun to learn about all of the gadgets that help maintain the green.”