Fourth Grade Field Studies at Mt. St. Helens
Posted September 28, 2012
On Friday, September 14, the 4th grade took a field trip to Mt. St. Helens. The trip was a part of their first science unit of the year, Volcanoes and Earthquakes.
It was a glorious fall day! The entire mountain was visible and Mt. Adams could be seen off in the distance. The bus took us straight up to the Johnston Ridge observatory. The two hour ride was spent getting to know each other and watching the visitor center movie “Message from the Mountain." Upon arrival, each student joined a chaperone to complete the assigned tasks in the visitor center and on the eruption trail. While on the trail, the students had the opportunity to witness the flying ant hatch which only happens once a year. They also were able to watch the thousands of grasshoppers and cute little ground squirrels that inhabit the area. The day was clear enough to see the fumaroles steaming away on the dome. Although the area surrounding the mountain had started to rebound from the eruption, the shattered trees and stark landscape are more like a desert than the thick vegetation normally encountered.
At lunch time, the bus took us down to the Coldwater Lake Recreation area for a picnic and a hike. The students had the opportunity to see hummocks, the clear lake, and some very large fish. Then back to the bus for the trip home. It was a long ride, but the mountain was worth the drive.
Thank you so much to our chaperones. They are the reason we can continue to take advantage of the opportunities to see a volcano for ourselves, rather than watching one on a video.