Learning Beyond Walls with GOL! in LCSD

Have you been wondering what outdoor learning LCSD students have been doing through our partnership with Get Outdoors Leadville!? Here are some recent highlights:

Learning outdoors is becoming the new routine for our 7th and 8th grade students! In spite of some chilly temperatures, Ari Gino’s (7th grade) and Lindsey Cade’s (8th grade) math students ventured out for their unit-end outdoor projects, now a tradition in both classes. Students in Michele DeWine & Molly Hokkanen’s STEM classes joined Greater Arkansas River Nature Association for some outdoor fieldwork where they examined natural selection for winter adaptations needed for various abiotic factors (cold, snow, wind) and biotic factors (predator/prey relationships) with activities including a snowshoe race to mimic the snowshoe hare’s big feet that help them escape predators and they looked at the insulative properties of blubber and their importance to hibernating animals.

Also at the High School, Nicci Condon’s Environmental Science students spent the week with Katy Warner and Katie McKnight from CMC’s Natural Resources Management program learning about what it takes to be a field scientist, including a half-day of fieldwork spent looking at streamflow dynamics, examining snowpack, and snowshoeing from LCHS to CMC. Shout out to Michelle Cavanaugh for helping make this day a success! After this week of studies, students are eligible to apply for a paid summer internship as a field scientist working alongside college students and Dr. Warner.

Wilderness Experience students read Aldo Leopold’s awesome essay, Thinking Like a Mountain, and considered their own perspective and relationship with the natural world. They took to the woods and trails near CMC and up at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. There, WE students enjoyed navigation practice at the cookhouse yurt. It was a treat to warm up by a cozy fire (Thanks Tennessee Pass Nordic Center!) after a chilly snowshoe endeavor. These outings and skill building help students prepare for the capstone canyons expedition in mid-April.

On the other end of the PK-12 progression, tiny explorers at The Center celebrated Valentine’s Day in the best possible way – outside, in the snow! Donning snowshoes, Nordic skis, and winter clothes, the preschoolers used this outdoor extravaganza to mark the end of their study of clothes (they even got to drop by the gear library to see all of the mountains of clothing and gear we have!). Thanks Kelly Horning for spearheading this awesome opportunity for GOL! to connect with LCSD’s youngest scholars and burgeoning outdoor adventurers.

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