On Friday, March 27, a group of students from the GATE program at Sisson Elementary School embarked on an educational trip to Arcata, CA. Led by Mr. Savarese, a 7th grade math and science teacher at Sisson School, the students went on a tour of Humboldt State University, went tide pooling, visited a marine biology lab, toured an authentic Yurok village and explored the redwood
forest.
After four hours of driving, the students arrived at HSU and were treated to an exclusive tour of the campus. The tour helped the students to think more seriously about college. “It really made me think about my future in college and how I was going to get there,” said 7th grader Mackenzie Armstrong. An 8th grader named Chris Cazneaux said, “The trip got me thinking about what college I might want to go to.”
The next morning the group headed out at 6:45 a.m. to explore tide pools. They found many interesting creatures such as leather stars, a monkey faced eel and a nudibranc (sea slug). For many kids, the tide pooling was a fun, unique experience. Students saw some sea creatures that they’d only seen in pictures.
Next, the students headed to the nearby HSU marine biology lab to view sea urchins, sea anemones, sponges, sea cucumbers and several species of star fish. A huge highlight was the large octopus named Arwen. “I loved watching the octopus change colors right in front of us,” said a 7th grader. The children also explored the different tidal zones by observing various tanks in which the environment and inhabitants of the different zones were displayed.
During their visit to an authentic Yurok village, a Yurok Indian explained about several different traditional dances and about the making and use of the sweat house and basic lodging. The students were allowed to go inside the buildings. “The inside was very cool; the way they built it was sturdy and smart,” said Mackenzie Armstrong.
The final stop was Lady Bird Johnson Grove, part of the Redwood National Park. The group set off on a trail to explore the woods. Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, and as the students found out, fairly large in girth, “We found out that it took five to eight people to go around a full grown redwood,” said Cambria Vallaire.
After a fun, educational weekend, the group headed back to Mt. Shasta.