Some students from Anser Charter School are learning about the Boise River by getting into the Boise River, kicking up rocks and capturing what drifts downstream to learn what lives beneath the surface.
It's part of a long running program called "Class in the Creek."
Josie Tigli says getting in the river as opposed to looking at it from the green belt, or a car going over a bridge, brings a whole new perspective. "Once you get down here, and you actually look at what's in the river, it makes you see it from a whole different point of view."
Small teams of students gather all of the living things they find in the river, and wildlife educators like
Tess Wolfeson explain what each specimen is, and its role in the ecosystem.
Wolfeson says the kids sometimes surprise her with things she has never seen before, making it a shared learning experience, one she hopes will give the students a greater appreciation of nature.
"It's really cool to see kids that have never been out and about or to the Nature Center," said Wolfeson, "and others that have been here for their entire lives and are always on the river, so i hope that they come to appreciate their environment more and learn more about the nature around them."
An appreciation that students like Josie say makes class in the creek much more impactful than class in a brick building learning about an ecosystem from a text book.
"You don't get to see it, you don't get to see it move," said Wolfeson. "You don't get to see the little organisms move. You don't get to touch 'em. It's not that visual, because it's mostly just drawings. I mean, it's helpful yeah, and you read about it, but getting to experience it is really exciting."