Hurricane Ridge Field Trip

Hurricane Ridge Field Trip
Posted on 04/25/2018
Hurricane Ridge Field TripThe purpose of the trip had multiple goals:

Enrich kids’ foundational knowledge of science so they can integrate their seventh-grade science experience into their future science learning.

Relate science and school to real life.

Make efforts to improve seventh grade science curriculum by adding relevant local connections to the existing hands-on inquiry science curriculum. (When the Olympic National Park is in your backyard, why not take the classroom there?)

Integrate social studies, through service learning and civic engagement components, and Native American education, through sovereignty curriculum.

Learning stations inside the lodge presented information about climate change, greenhouse gas effects, glaciers and Native lore.   Sack lunches and hot chocolate were also consumed in the lodge.

Outdoors, students strapped on snowshoes and cycled through learning stations about snow science, avalanches and wildlife. 

For a clear majority of students, this was their first experience with snowshoeing. 

At each outdoor station, students took part in conducting experiments.  They took samples to measure the amount of liquid water in the snow at different depths.  They learned about different kinds of avalanches, how they are formed and what events can set them off.  They took temperature readings of the snow in sun and shade.  They went on a nature walk with a park ranger who talked about indigenous wildlife. 

The focus of study was on climate change.  The essential question put to the students was: How is changing snowpack, resulting from climate change, going to affect park ecosystems and surrounding communities?

Back in the classroom, students wrote about their field trip experiences:

“I loved the experience, because that was the first time I went up there,” wrote Jaeda Elofson.

“My favorite part was seeing the 3-D map in the lodge,” wrote Miriam Graves.  “I’ll always remember how cold it was!”

SMS Hurricane Ridge Map

“I learned that in the year 2015, they barely had snow in January at Hurricane Ridge,” wrote Kim Guggenbickler.

“One thing I learned about the environment at Hurricane Ridge is that the weather can change very quickly,” wrote Abby Frank. “My favorite part of the trip was the snowshoe hike.”

“I learned about Native American culture through stories I was told,” wrote Riley Michaelis.

“I learned that many animals, like salmon, depend on the snow to live,” wrote Reef Gelder.

“There are two kinds of avalanches---slab and sluff,” wrote Fern Knobel.

“I learned the pollution is making a big impact on the glaciers and how we get our water,” wrote Ashlynn Helgeson.

SMS Pollution Ideas

“One thing I learned about the environment at Hurricane Ridge was how the glaciers have been slowly melting due to climate change,” wrote Lilly Sanders.  “I listened to a Native story of how the mountains were made.”

“Hurricane Ridge has been losing snow each year,” wrote Taylor Worthington.

“Every winter we’re getting less snowfall,” wrote Kylie Weed.

“One thing I learned about Hurricane Ridge is that there is lots of snow in the winter and lots of wildflowers in the spring,” wrote Haley Petty.

SMS Hurricane Ridge Hunter

“I learned that loads of animals live in the snow!’  wrote Jack Gladfelter.

“My favorite part of the field trip was when we went on a nature walk,” wrote Sahnai Charles.

“Global warming, that people contribute to, melts glaciers,” wrote Tandy Treese.

“The mountains are sleeping giants, according to Klallam stories,” wrote Gabielle Montana.

“The rivers and streams were created by a killer whale, according to one Klallam story,” wrote Kaylee Oldemeyer.

“I went snowshoeing for the first time,” wrote Maliah Wilson.

“My favorite part of the trip was snowshoeing,” wrote Samuel Calder, Sara Holland, Cindy Liang, Ava Sutherland and many other students.

“At Hurricane Ridge, we spent time outside learning about nature and snow avalanches.  Inside, we learned about climate change and human history,” wrote Jacob Miller.

Teachers did a debrief with each other after each outing to problem solve and improve each experience.

“I thought it was fantastic,” said Scott Soule, seventh grade math teacher. “One of the potentially most influential field trips that I have been associated with.”

“I am looking forward to another relevant and memorable field experience for students,” said Daniel Lieberman, eighth grade science teacher.

Thanks to all who helped with or participated in the seventh grade field trips throughout March, including Jessica Elofson/Native American Intervention Specialist, Dana Christenson, Dean Butterworth/ Outreach and Education Specialist for Olympic National Park, Samuel Ashmore, Janis Burger, Carlotta Caplenor, Taylor Hartman, Pam Kiteley, Barbara Sires, Janet Parker, Kristen Lunt, Ryan Stevens, Mariah Francis, Kim Lemon, Mark Schmidt, Denise Williamson, Scott Soule, Paula Elder, Laurel Kaufmann, Stacey Sanders, Brad Ahrndt, Rich Butler, Susan Dekreon, Bruce Rothweiler, Melissa McBride, Clark Driese, Trix Donohue and Patsene Dashiell. 

For additional assistance, please contact:

M. Patsene Dashiell
Communications & Community Relations Coordinator
Ph: 360-565-3703
Port Angeles School District
Central Services – 216 East 4th Street
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