It was a unique opportunity to watch students learn conservation practices, environmental stewardship, and the idea of land ethic — where we all have the responsibility to care for and respect the land where we live. Zachary Pollack Grade 7 teacher
Concepts and ideas from science and reading classes came alive for the seventh-graders at Chicago City Day School during their recent overnight trip to Baraboo, WI. During the trip, students studied the ancient rock formations at Devil's Lake State Park and conservation at the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
Devil's Lake is home to one of the oldest outcroppings of rock in the world, with some dating back 1.7 billion years, said City Day science teacher Thomas "Mac" McFeely.
"The park has such a rich geologic history, and it's great for our students to get a chance to 'see' that history up close," Mr. Mac said.
Students also visited the Aldo Leopold Foundation, where they explored the Leopold family's "shack" and learned about how and why the organization has conserved roughly 600 acres of prairies, pines, and floodplain land. With a guide who had personal connections to the Leopold family and previously served on the foundation's board of directors, students gained a firsthand account of Aldo Leopold's legacy, said grade 7 teacher Zachary Pollack.
City Day students have been reading Aldo Leopold's collection of essays, A Sand County Almanac, as part of the seventh-grade reading curriculum — an example of how academic subjects work together at City Day.
"It was a unique opportunity to watch students learn conservation practices, environmental stewardship, and the idea of land ethic — where we all have the responsibility to care for and respect the land where we live," Mr. Pollack said.
Finally, the trip included a visit to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, where students learned about the organization's efforts to preserve habitats around the world for all 15 species of cranes.
The trip to Baraboo has long been a part of the seventh-grade curriculum. It is one of many immersive travel opportunities the school provides students. In addition to giving students a vivid look at the scientific underpinnings of environmental issues, the Baraboo trip is also a fun bonding experience for students and teachers alike.
See photos from the trip below.