about the joy of discovery project

Richard Louv, author of “Last Child In the Woods,” posed the question: “What could our lives and our children’s lives be like if our days and nights were as immersed in nature as they are in technology?” 

In a world where technology is always right at our fingertips, it is often easy to lose sight of the benefits that nature has to offer. Extensive scientific research shows that experiencing a nature deficit can contribute to attention issues, difficulty with weight, diminished use of senses, and higher rates of both mental and physical illness. 

The encouraging piece of this research is that these issues are easily reversed and remedied with spending time in nature. 

According to the Child Mind Institute, the average child in America spends four to seven minutes a day outdoors; in contrast, they spend over seven hours in front of a screen. In the age of remote learning, that screen time is only going to increase.


Unfortunately, that likely means children’s discovery time in nature will decrease. Recent scientific studies have shown that spending time outdoors has a positive impact on happiness, confidence, responsibility, creativity, stress, and fatigue. 

The Joy of Discovery Project strives to reverse and prevent Nature-Deficit Disorder in children, ages 5-17 in the Denver metro area, as well as instill a lifelong love and appreciation of the outdoors through educational experiences.

guiding principles

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wild wonder

By pushing students to look beyond their “normal” they can create a greater sense of curiosity and love for learning. Through exploring uncertain terrain, and trying new things, The Joy of Discovery Project strives to cultivate a greater sense of wonder, and rekindle a passion for searching for knowledge.

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pursue meaning

“Meaning” looks different for everyone. It is specifically tailored to each individual person, and may change as we evolve. TJDP encourages students to find their own personal meaning in life, and ride the ever changing wave of the journey.

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discover your passions

Without trying new things, we may never recognize our destiny...TJDP introduces students to new and enriching experiences to help them explore their own passions.

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freedom to fail

So often society pushes us to perfection. We are not allowed to fail. TJDP encourages failure. Without failure, we are unlikely to learn important lessons. So take calculated risks, experience safe failures, learn and try again.

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embrace the world as it is

We must understand the world systems and connections in order to better it. We may not always agree with the world we live in, but we can find the pieces of beauty it has, and learn to embrace it.

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envision the world that might be

The future of the world lies in the hands of our children. By allowing (encouraging) them to dream what they want the future world to look like, we can build the capacity in them to facilitate change.

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engineer the world as it ought to be

It is not enough to hope for a better world, we must do our part in creating it.

Meet your guide

Hannah is a licensed special education teacher and a horticultural therapist. Hannah is endorsed by the Colorado Department of Education to teach all general academic subject areas. She is trained in differentiating instruction, which involves tailoring curricula to individual student’s needs. Her teaching philosophy centers around the development of the whole child (physical, social, emotional, and intellectual). She feels that these qualities are just as important as a child’s academic successes. Hannah is also CPR/AED and First Aid Certified, as well as a Red Cross certified lifeguard and swim instructor. She is a fly fishing guide. Hannah has also worked as a recreational therapist, and is able to adapt activities based on both physical and cognitive abilities.

After teaching in a non-traditional school, Hannah saw the incredible benefit of experiential learning and felt that teaching philosophy should be more widely accessible. Hannah’s teaching experiences made her a proponent of experiential learning and inspired her to start The Joy of Discovery Project.

For a full list of Hannah's qualifications,

click here.


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