Rocky Mtn Bio Lab with the 6th Grade

Our middle school students are bringing the classroom into the world during their week long stay in Crested Butte.

Day 3

Ella- First, we went to the river with a new scientist, Mairead. We watched her look for macro vertebrates on a type of algae called Didymo. We took the samples from the water and we went into a classroom and looked at them more closely. We separated the different types of macro vertebrates into ice trays, identified all of them, and figured out if there were more in the water that flowed more than the other part of the stream. We figured out that there were more macro vertebrates in the non-moving water.

Then, we went to lunch and played a few games that Randall taught us. At lunch, we saw a huge moose!

Piper- After lunch, we got in the van and we drove the Gunsight Bridge on the Slate River. We got to do water chemistry tests there for pH, nitrates, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and turbidity. We saw another moose! It was starting to rain, so we went back to our campsite and collected a few more items before moving into a church in Crested Butte for the night. After we unpacked, we went into town and went to 2 stores. Now we are waiting for some delicious dinner of chicken fajitas.

Andrea – The rain was not as bad as originally forecast, but we are still grateful to have had a warm and dry place to stay. It has been;a very fun (if a bit chaotic at times) sleepover filled with games, convection oven s’mores, and a bedtime story. We are safe and dry! The storm appears to be clearing around midday on Thursday, so we will have one more night in camp before heading back to Steamboat on Friday morning.

Day 2

Wesley- In the morning, we had oatmeal and then went to Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (RMBL). We met two scientists, Katie and Laura, who helped us remember what we learned last year about watersheds. We are in the Gunnison River watershed. We then hiked up to Judd Falls, which is named after a man named Judd who helped keep the town of Gothic alive. On our way to the falls, we stopped in a dry stream bed and found fossils!

Grayson- After the waterfall, we hiked back down to RMBL and had lunch at the community center. After lunch, we tested rock hardness by scratching rocks against other objects like a penny and a pocket knife. Then, we learned about watersheds and wells. we went inside and learned more about wells with another scientist, Sam. One interesting thing that Sam does is take measurements of groundwater with an instrument he designed himself.

Truman- back at camp, we played outside for about 40 minutes before moving our tents and setting up more shelter in preparation for the rain. We are camped at Oh Be Joyful Campground and we are right next to the Slate River. Then, for dinner, we had a Costa Rican dish, arroz con pollo. It was chicken and rice with refried beans and chips. It is normally served on birthdays or other special occasions. Our World Leadership School facilitators are from Costa Rica, so we have been able to practice our Spanish and learn about Costa Rican culture. Next, we will gather around the campfire to discuss the day and prepare for tomorrow.

Day 1

Greetings from Crested Butte! After a very busy Monday morning at school, we finally got our van and trailer loaded and headed south. The trip was filled with bad jokes, our playlist featuring some questionable songs about chickens and ducks, and a haul of candy from a Silverthorne gas station. (Send my regards to your students’ dentist.)

We arrived at our campground just as the sun was setting, and I am so impressed with how fast students were able to set up their tents and make our campsites a home for the week. We were greeted with a delicious dinner from our WLS partners, Randall and Javier. On a personal note, I worked with Randall last spring in Costa Rica on the 7/8 trip. I’m excited to get to work with him again! This group also had him here at RMBL last year, which marks the first time Randall has ever been able to work with a group twice in all his years with WLS. Very special.

Students will be trading out blog duties based on tent groups throughout the week. We will update as much as possible!