The majesty of mountains
American Academy (AA) – Castle Pines eighth grade students joined AA – Parker campuses for a week in Olympic National Park, located in the foothills of the Pacific Northwest’s majestic Olympic Mountains.
Students studied environmental science through a variety of firsthand learning experiences in a new setting. They examined the diverse environment of the Park’s rivers, wildlife and forests and made connections and comparisons to Colorado while analyzing data and connecting results to modern trends and outcomes.
Teacher and chaperone Chris Todd underscored that the more students are led to real-world connections and the meaning of data in the natural world, the better for its long-term understanding.
Challenging themselves physically by trekking six miles to the top of Mount Storm King, hiking through old growth forests and canoeing the clear waters of Crescent Lake, the group developed meaningful relationships and discovered a caring relationship with the natural world. Student Avery Clement learned if you take a step back and really look, nature can be more beautiful than you think.
By Julie Matuszewski; photos courtesy of Chris Todd