Mueller Charter Leadership Academy (MCLA)
and the Nature Smart Studies Program
In July 2009, the Living Coast Discovery Center and the nearby Mueller Charter Leadership Academy (MCLA) began a special partnership. Through this partnership, the Discovery Center is the host and serves as the setting where MCLA 7th and 8th graders study science. To emphasize standards-based, hands-on learning within a rich natural environment, MCLA created for its students the Nature Smart Studies Program, with support provided by the Discovery Center.
As 7th graders in the Nature Smart Studies Program, MCLA students come to the Discovery Center one day per week to take their science class, spending the full school day on site. After spending their 7th grade year in Nature Smart, MCLA 8th graders come for one day every three weeks, continuing their study of science at the Discovery Center. Often, MCLA students enhance their learning by visiting various study sites near the Discovery Center, on occasion taking part in valuable community service projects.
Thanks to the partnership between the Discovery Center and Mueller Charter School, MCLA students have the unique opportunity to think, write, and experiment in a beautiful natural setting, filled with important natural history and native plants and animals. As students work on mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards, they learn firsthand about the local habitats and ecosystems of our bay community.