Rendezvous Elementary School Students Explore Grand Teton National Park

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Eighty six elementary school students traveled from Riverton to Jackson Hole on August 3rd for three days of outdoor learning and exploration. During their visit, students were based out of the Jackson Campus of Teton Science Schools.

Lead by instructors from Teton Science Schools, they hiked through Grand Teton National Park while studying the ecology and natural history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The overarching goals of the experience were to immerse students in hands-on, scientific inquiry in the outdoors, and to provide opportunities for them to develop a sense of connection to the natural world.

During their field experience, students participated in activities and lessons designed to practice making acute observations, thinking critically, asking well developed questions, formulating hypotheses and testing their hypotheses by collecting and analyzing data in the field. More specifically, students refined these skills while focusing their studies on research projects such as animal signs, insects, and water quality within Grand Teton National Park. In addition, students developed leadership skills by collaborating together as naturalists and scientists not only in the field, but when analyzing and presenting their research.

The trip supports the students as they enter their 5th grade year diving into scientific exploration within their own community. In addition, it helps build their class community as they get to know new classmates and share a common, once in a life time opportunity and experience. Students are supported as they step out of their comfort zone for three days, and thus not only learn about their peers, but themselves as well.

Teacher, Bret Hoover, summed up the week: “I was surprised and excited to see how our students interacted to what was offered. They had to be self-responsible, responsible to others in multiple scenarios and challenged to learn in new ways or apply what they know in new ways”

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