8th Grade Makes Annual Trek to Yosemite
Led by Sister Ann McGowan, the St. Raymond 8th graders took their annual trip to Yosemite in September. The class had an opportunity to bond with their classmates while exploring majestic Yosemite National Park. NatureBridge environmental science educators led the students on several rigorous hikes through the natural landscapes of Yosemite. The students learned about the geologic processes that shaped the Sierra Nevada Mountain range and the Yosemite Valley. They explored ancient groves of giant Sequoias. The 8th graders had the opportunity to participate in team building challenges and explore lessons on leadership, while hiking to Vernal Falls and experiencing the infamous Spider Caves. Evening activities included a night hike across the Valley floor and fun and engaging campfire activities.
Before the class traveled to Yosemite, to better prepare the students to understand the beauty and science of Yosemite, Mrs. Hamilton, 8th grade science teacher, had the class study the "Science of Yosemite". They researched the geology, flora, fauna, and many recreational activities offered in the Valley. The students formed groups and produced creative documentaries about their research, utilizing green screen technology. Using iMovie on both their iPads and desk top computers the 8th graders produced informative and entertaining movies transforming themselves into giant Sequoias and blossoming flowers. Students "canoed" across Mirror lake and "rock climbed” up Half Dome in their travelogues. Their clever use of technology made the Science of Yosemite engaging and set the tone for their visit to the Park.