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SMESL The Shawnee Mission Environmental Science Laboratory

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1 SMESL The Shawnee Mission Environmental Science Laboratory
Connecting students with nature for over 40 years

2 Approximately 1978 I-435 Lamar 107th Street SMS SMESL Nall Indian Creek

3 What’s a SMESL? SMESL stands for the Shawnee Mission Environmental Science Laboratory which was established in 1969.  The SMESL is a fenced in tract of land that includes a prairie, pond, woodland and small stream.  The SMESL encompasses approximately 22 acres. One acre equals 43,560 square feet. In more graphic terms, one acre can just about fit in the space (with just a little room left over) that a football field covers.

4 SMESL Life - Over 40 different species of tree have been identified
Over 80 different species of plants (non-woody) have been identified SMESL is home to six different species of snake Commonly see White Tail Deer Sometimes see Bobcats, Coyotes, Turkey




8 How does SMS use the SMESL?
Environmental Education class specifically created so high school students could act as teachers for grade school kids. We host over 3,000 grade school kids every school year for a two hour tour of the SMESL. Biology, Environmental problems, French classes. Summer Enrichment classes

9 SMESL Present



12 Pond – approx. ¼ acre




16 SMESL tours Teachers sign up for tour times offered in October, April and May Environmental Education students learn about plants and animals that are commonly found in the SMESL Environmental Education students prepare a lesson plan about one of ten teaching stations: Tracks, Mammals, Microlife, Animal Homes, Fish, Reptiles, Insects and Spiders, Pet Care, Birds, Nature Scavenger Hunt Grade School kids learn about two of the activities during their field trip

17 SMESL tours We have hosted over 3,000 grade school children every year for the last 15 years We host two groups a day (am and pm session) Average group size is 45 kids (2 classes) – we are capable of hosting up to 60 at a time The 10 activities average 4-5 kids per group (great teacher to student ratio) About half of the kids are Shawnee Mission students The other half come from throughout the greater Kansas City metro area

18 Benefits - Grade school students get exposure to the great outdoors
Grade school students get to interact with trained high school students High School students get practice leading a small group High School students get the benefit of in depth learning about the activity they teach






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