Grand Classroom – Freshmen By Patrick Hagarman
Members of the freshman class traveled to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion National Park. In Las Vegas, the students spent the afternoon at the Three Square food bank where they packed over 380 bags of produce for homebound seniors living in the greater Las Vegas area. In addition to working in the food production facility, the class took a tour of the facility and learned how “food insecurity” can mean many different things for people across our country.
After leaving Las Vegas, the group first traveled to the Grand Canyon to hike the Kaibab Trail. The hike took us down to “Ooh Aah” point where we had lunch with a scenic overlook of the canyon. After hiking out and back to the visitors center, students watched the park’s film on the canyon and it development throughout time. We then traveled to Kanab, Utah where we spent a day hiking the Navajo Loop in Bryce Canyon National park and Angel’s Landing at Zion National park. All three days were full of challenging hiking while experiencing some of America’s finest natural treasures. This couples well with the Biology 1 curriculum that all of the students are currently enrolled in. As we complete our unit on Ecology, this was a perfect place-based experience to see how the concepts we covered in the class play out in our national parks. Students got firsthand experience learning about the geology and ecology of each park. Specific lessons included the formation of the Colorado Plateau, the history and culture behind the “hoodoos” of Bryce Canyon, and the reintroduction efforts of the California Condor in Zion National Park.