The Boise School District has long-standing tradition of environmental field trips. Unfortunately, they were forced to reevaluate their program due to cost, the pandemic, and many other factors.
"Environmental education is an opportunity for students to go outside and learn about the environment, especially the issues that impact Idaho," said Misha Smith, teacher for Hawthorne Elementary School.
The school district’s Science Supervisor Chris Taylor in 2021, gathered a committee of teachers, administrators and members from private and public environmental education organizations in 2021. This group included Bogus Basin and the City of Boise to create an all-new program. They wanted it to be science-focused, and they wanted all sixth grade students to be able to participate, which is how the Environmental Field Experience started.
"At the end of the day, we are just trying to get them to connect to their outdoor spaces," said Dirk Anderson, Bogus Basin environmental education coordinator.
During the week-long experience, sixth graders will spend three full days learning in the field as scientists. This week students will focus on learning about the relationship between water, humans and the natural systems.
“I think it's important to learn, especially when it’s something that you need that is a big problem, and you need to address it,” said Porter Post, a sixth-grade student.
Hawthorne Elementary school sixth graders were one of the first classes to participate in the program. This week they will continue their environmental field experience by visiting Barcley Bay and the MK Nature Center.