What is CREST?
The Center for Research in Environmental Sciences and Technologies (CREST) is an environmental education center operated by the West Linn-Wilsonville School District. Opened in the 2001-2002 school year and dedicated by Dr. Jane Goodall, the center offers programs and curricular support for students and teachers in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District.For more information please see our FAQ.
What's new at CREST?
On Friday, April 7, 2023, we had four new residents move into our school district - young Barn Owls were introduced, or re-nested, into two of the Barn Owl boxes that district personnel put up about a year ago! This exciting event was made possible by the remarkable bird rehabilitators at Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, both their professional staff and volunteers. When injured or orphaned birds are brought into their center they receive medical care if needed, and young birds learn how to live on their own in the wild before being released to new territories. Cascades Raptor Center approved of our district's goal to manage problem voles and other field-damaging rodents through natural predation systems rather than harmful pesticides, and so were willing to partner with us to re-nest these two pairs of young owls. We hope they find plenty of food and habitat to their liking, and raise their own owlets in our nest boxes! Our thanks to our friends at Cascades Raptor Center.
This is CREST
Since its establishment, CREST staff have helped thousands of students and teachers learn through doing – by engaging them in field experiences, independent student research, gardening, service learning, and hands-on, inquiry-based science.CREST staff directly work with students in the field, at school, or at one of our two sites. We also provide curricular support for teachers in the areas of science and education for sustainability. With the exception of our day camps and summer camps, CREST is a free resource for students, teachers and parents of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District.
CREST fully supports the mission statement of the district: How do we create learning communities for the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people…for the world?
Through our different programs, we strive to:
The main CREST facility was dedicated in 2001 by Dr. Jane Goodall, who is also the namesake of our annual district science fair, the CREST-Jane Goodall Science Symposium. The center, adjacent to Boones Ferry Primary and Inza R. Wood Middle School in Wilsonville, includes two classroom spaces, a ½-acre vegetable garden, orchard, pond, greenhouse, and access to 250-acres of forests and wetlands. Classes often visit to meet our education animals and to utilize the gardens, pond, and forest for field studies.Overview of CREST Programs:
- Foster a sense of wonder, understanding and stewardship for the natural world
- Help students achieve science literacy and develop a lifelong appreciation for science
- Increase personal wellness through connections to local food systems and outdoor activities
- Promote and inspire sustainability through education and demonstrations
- Support teachers in teaching science and environmental education
Program Grades Description School-day
Lessons & Field Experiences
K-8 CREST Staff and Teachers co-lead a variety of lessons and field experiences that target specific science standards and engage students in place-based learning. Students consider topics about the natural world, their connection to it, and develop skills to become active stewards in their community. Student Scientific Research 6-12 Students engage in active scientific inquiry by developing independent research projects in science or engineering. CREST staff assist with the development of research plans and connect students with professional mentors who can provide guidance. Final projects are showcased at the annual CREST-Jane Goodall Science Symposium. Farm-to-School K & up This program utilizes the CREST garden and orchard to demonstrate agricultural practices and components of local food systems. Students learn about local food systems, science, and personal wellness and are directly engaged in the operation of CREST garden spaces. Learning-on-the-go (LOTG)
K-8 Day camps and summer camps provide students with unique learning experiences when school is out of session. CREST staff engage students in activities that increase their understanding of science and nature. Student Internships 10-12 Individualized internships provide students with real work experience at CREST and also at community organizations. Teacher Training & Support K-12 CREST staff provide support to individual teachers, teaching teams, and school staff to encourage self-efficacy in teaching science and environmental education. This includes providing lesson plans, materials, equipment, and training. School-wide Initiatives K-12 CREST staff provide general support for the establishment of school-wide programs that encourage scientific inquiry, sustainability, and environmental education. Examples include: helping build and maintain school gardens and supporting school science fairs.