By Science teacher Damaris Allen
From Tuesday, May 2 through Saturday, May 6, 15 Middle School students, 12 Upper School students and five Parker science faculty members participated in a week-long outdoor science adventure at Teton Science Schools.
We stayed on their Kelly campus in cabins at Teton National Park. The goal was to plant the seeds of stewardship and nature appreciation within the minds and hearts of our students, along with a scientific understanding of the world of ecosystems and how we fit in. As we face our present and future environmental concerns, it’s important to nurture new ways of thinking, which is really a rekindling of our ability to learn from healthy natural ecosystems and a more balanced approach to living.
There were so many highlights:
Students were unplugged and off their phones for three full days and actually enjoyed it!
We saw many different examples of wildlife: bighorn sheep, elk, moose (one up close!), bison and a bear.
We learned about raptor rehabilitation and were able to see a barn owl and red-tailed hawk up close.
We did a stewardship project cleaning up the main bike trail to help mitigate microplastics entering the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
We learned about mindful communication.
We had a campfire and enjoyed s’mores.
We had unbelievable views almost all the time and learned to appreciate the beauty of a sunrise and sunset.
We became experts at hiking in snowshoes.
Many of us pushed ourselves beyond our comfort zone.
Many made friendships they would not necessarily have made if they did not go on this trip.
We traveled through aspen groves, coniferous forest, sagebrush and riparian ecosystems as we hiked.
Even with an almost full moon, we were able to do some stargazing under the guidance of Ms. Allen.