6th-Graders develop a first-hand sense of planetary and biologic evolution

How does the past influence the present and where do you exist in relation to the nexus of time?

TEA 6th-graders tackled these questions and more during a recent trip to Berlin Ichthyosaur State Park (BISP). This off-site investigation put students in the heart of the Mesozoic Era and allowed them to develop a first-hand sense of planetary and biologic evolution — especially in relation to generalities that include climate change catalysts and cycles, as well as adaptations and specializations that are specific to a variety of micro and macro forms of life.

Park Ranger Jeff, welcomed the 6th-Grade Capybara crew to BISP and helped them identify fossils and search for discoveries on their own. Besides learning all about the Ichthyosaur in the land where it once thrived, the students also learned how to work with each other to participate in active investigations of the past.

What lessons did you take away from this experience?

After a pit stop at the Berlin ghost town where they saw more remnants of forgotten eras, they further developed their camping skills at the BISP Campground. Here are some of the valuable lessons the students say they learned:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings
  • Respect the space
  • Never waste any food
  • Make sure you have all your supplies
  • Bring extra batteries

How have your perspectives changed?

Once the students returned to campus, they took a few moments to reflect on their experience and were asked if their perspectives have changed. Here are some direct quotes from their reflections.

  • “Not all rocks are rocks.”
  • “This trip was more like school than camping.”
  • “We interpret reality.”
  • “The past affects the present and future more than we think.”
  • “I learned how to incorporate a place and yourself with time.”

Thank you to 6th-Grade Teacher Chelsea Simmers for the beautiful photos and to 6th-Grade Crew Leaders Loren Trux and DC Larrabee for designing this student experience!