Elementary students learn about fire science through hands-on activities

Submitted by firelab on Mon, 11/07/2022 - 07:34

FFS Supervisory Ecologist Ilana Abrahamson, Technical Information Specialist Olga Helmy, and BLM Fuels Specialist Michael Albritton led hands-on FireWorks activities with about 90 5th grade students at Rattlesnake Elementary School in Missoula, Montana. Students used the “matchstick forest model” to test how fires behave in forests with different slopes and stand densities, and they learned about how fires burn in open ponderosa pine forests versus dense lodgepole pine forests. After observing their model lodgepole pine forests burn by stand-replacing crown fires, students theorized how burned lodgepole pine forests regenerate. Students then examined closed, serotinous lodgepole pine cones and extracted seeds from heat-opened cones. Interest in FireWorks programming is quickly rebounding as schools reopen to visitors. Ilana and
Biological Science Technician, Court Johnson have recently resumed leading activities at schools and community events.


Fireworks hands-on education class