Every year during the second week of school, RPA Middle School students are treated to diverse outdoor school trips and field trips spanning from Oregon’s coast to the high desert.
“The purpose of our outdoor school trips are to learn more about the natural history of Oregon, as well as build strong relationships at the beginning of the year,” said Andrea Adams, middle school assistant director and science teacher.
This year’s field trips took seventh graders to Hancock Field Station in the John Day Fossil Beds in Fossil, Oregon, and eighth-graders traveled to the Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, Oregon for a three-day, two-night outdoor school experience from Sept. 11-13.
Both trips are organized through the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), as part of their OMSI Outdoor Science School Program.
During the Hancock Field Station trip, students participated in reptile and insect studies, a hands-on lapidary experience (gem cutting and polishing), geology and paleontology field studies, a birds of prey program, and other high desert topics.
The Newport trip included programs on squid dissections, coastal bird studies, coastal ecology, marine mammal studies, and other marine science topics.
In addition, sixth-grade students visited Lava Lands Visitor Center and the Lava Caves outside of Bend, on Sept. 9 and 10, where they learned about volcanoes and their effect upon the physical, biological, and cultural aspects of the world.
“The Lava Lands and Lava Caves trips provide our sixth-graders with experiential learning opportunities that aren’t possible inside a traditional classroom,” said Amy Kappell, middle school director. “We enjoy the opportunity to take these kinds of trips and provide a broader educational experience for our students.”