High School Field Ecology: Research Week

Click here to watch the video from Research Week!

Hello outside world! This is Leilani and Sarah reporting for High School Field Ecology from Teton Science Schools in Jackson. These past few days have been a whirl-wind experience. The Water Quality group (also popularly known as the Stream Team), the Bison bison group and the sage-grouse team ended their mind-blowing projects (also stunning power points) with a bang! They wowed the audience of board members, faculty, and students with their amazing scientific knowledge. Each group synthesized their learning by presenting their findings. The water quality team discussed the incredible macro invertebrates, algae, and the overall health of fish creek. The sage-grouse group examined the effects of treacherous fire on habitats for the beloved sage-grouse. The Bison group looked at population management and considered the future of the Bison in the Jackson Hole area (which is a huge debate within the valley).We are happy to say that all the groups’ hypotheses were proved correct. (We are sure you are glad to hear that all of the students here are slowly proving to be geniuses!! Aren’t you glad that you know them?) It was amazing to realize that we had become experts in our research in less than a week. (The genius in all of us is slowly coming out). All the students here in High School Field Ecology are much more comfortable doing scientific research now. That was just the beginning of our day! After the presentations were over, the students took a much needed chill break. We all went down to the play field to have fun. Some students relaxed and read books, or went on a quick Robin nest search, while others played some games (ex. Birdie in a Perch, Honey I Love You, and Fatty Star), make sure to ask your child or friend about them when they get back home, we are all very eager to share the new game ideas. Then after a delicious dinner of Sweet and Sour Pork with brownies for dessert (YUM!!) the group went up to Shadow Mountain for an adventure.The adventure was using a compass and directions to find the ingredients for S’mores! We learned orienteering skills to find all the necessary items for our sweet treats. It was difficult, but in the end we proved successful and found the gram crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows, and yes, maybe some groups did receive a little help from Glenn. Once we were finished eating our fill, some students frolicked down a hill and through a beautiful field of wild flowers and then took a much needed break and lied in the grass enjoying the scenery. While we were walking we found a snow pile and trouble ensued. There was snow flying everywhere!! Unfortunately, we received a call, from one of our fearless leaders, that we must retreat to the safety of the vans where the students quickly found another form of entertainment…DANCE PARTY! The whole way back to the campus, along all the hole filled, turn packed roads, the girls in Glenn’s van partied away. (Also, we recently discovered that Glen (with only 1 n) comes from a Welch heritage whereas Glenn (2 n’s) comes from a Scottish background…who knew??) As you can tell we are learning very many facts that are critical to our survival.With the rise of a new day the Teton Truffula Tribe began with preparing for the back country trip. To our dismay, our family split into two different groups for the trip, and yes, this was a very traumatic experience for this close family. Accompanied with this devastating news the WHOLE family learned how to set up a new style of tent, the ABCC’s of packing and the 3 s’s of camping ( ya, acronyms are very important in this school). Now, at the conclusion of this day we all begin our next quest, Dork out time. Every student here received the tremendous task, where we must become the teachers!! Each student receives 10 minutes on the back country trip to teach the group about every and anything scientific that pleases their little heart, it is slowly proving to be a stressful task, stay posted to see how all the events play out.Sadly we must leave you now, for we as well are very studious students who cannot wait to complete our 10 minute Dork Out lesson. We hope that you are all doing well, and understand that we love and miss you all. As for High School Field Ecology, this is Sarah and Leilani signing off.

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