Field Trip Report
KINDERGARTEN FIELD TRIPS
1. MAROON BELLS
When our Kindergarten students visit Maroon Bells, they use their five senses to observe their surroundings. Students pair up with small group and parent volunteers.
As they hike along the lake and river, they distinguish living and non-living things such as ducks, beavers, chipmunks, rocks, the lake and plants.
Students learn the importance of water for all living things.
2. ROCK BOTTOM RANCH
Kindergarten students travel to Rock Bottom Ranch with ACES twice a year - once in the fall and once in the spring.
Fall – Animal Identification
Kindergarteners travel to ACES Rock Bottom Ranch to learn about different groups and scientific categorization of animals. While exploring the farmyard, kindergarteners study characteristics and traits that define mammals, birds, and other animals of our local ecosystem.
1.2 Objects can be sorted by physical properties, which can be observed and measured
Spring – Plant Part Exploration
As spring arrives and buds begin to burst, kindergarteners visit ACES Rock Bottom Ranch to learn about plants and their life processes. Through experiential learning activities such as the garden scavenger hunt and wetland hike, students learn the fundamental six plant parts and very basic photosynthesis.
2.1 Organisms can be described and sorted by their physical characteristics
3.1 The Sun provides heat and light to Earth
Click here to learn more about Rock Bottom Ranch!
1ST GRADE FIELD TRIPS
1. ROCK BOTTOM RANCH
Each year, first grade students have the great educational opportunity to visit Rock Bottom Ranch two different times.
Fall – Earth's Materials
As harvest season comes to a close, the first graders visit ACES Rock Bottom Ranch to study soil and help put the garden to bed for the winter season. Students get their hands dirty while studying soil samples from different ecosystems around the ranch and discover the essential living processes of plant growth.
3.1 Earth's materials can be compared and classified based on their properties
Spring – Terrific Traits
First graders travel to ACES Rock Bottom Ranch to meet and learn about all of the spring babies around the ranch and in our wild lands ecosystem. Focusing on genetics, the students discover traits that plants and animals pass down from parents to babies.
2.1 Offspring have characteristics that are similar to but not exactly like their parents' characteristics
2. HALLAM LAKE
Winter – States of Matter and Predator vs. Prey
First graders travel to ACES Hallam Lake for hands-on exploration and research on local predator and prey species. Students also use scientific tools in our ACES laboratory to explore water and the states of matter.
1.1 Solids and liquids have unique properties that distinguish them
2.2 An organism is a living thing that has physical characteristics to help it survive
2ND GRADE FIELD TRIPS
1. ADVENTURE ON TOP OF ASPEN MOUNTAIN
During the month of February, the second grade travels to Aspen for our annual snowshoe day. The goals for this trip revolve around habitats and animal adaptations; all in preparation for the long winter.
Students are guided by ACES naturalists along the trail atop majestic Aspen Mountain; searching for signs and tracks.
After a picnic lunch on top of the mountain, the group then hikes back to the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol headquarters where ski patrol demonstrates avalanche safety and ski area signage.
2. ROCK BOTTOM RANCH
Fall – Adaptations and Habitats
Second graders visit Rock Bottom Ranch to compare wild and farmyard habitats while studying the adaptations of birds and mammals. Teams of second graders complete a habitat quest to discover the four habitat components of a mystery animal.
2.1 Organisms depend on their habitats nonliving parts to satisfy their needs
2.2 Each plant or animal has different structures or behaviors that serve different functions
Spring – Habitat Exploration and Evening Campfire
Second graders spend an entire afternoon and evening exploring the preserve at Rock Bottom Ranch. Romping through the wetland and the cottonwood forest, second graders compare the living communities and determine what animals are adapted to live in each. After eating dinner with their classmates, second graders enjoy a campfire filled with skits, songs and s'mores before heading back to school
2.1 Organisms depend on their habitats nonliving parts to satisfy their needs
3RD GRADE FIELD TRIPS
1. SMUGGLER MINE AND HOLDEN MAROLT MUSEUM
The third grade class travels to the Smuggler Mine and the Holden Marolt Museum to enhance their study of local history and communities. The students learn about the mining history of our community. Students take a tour of the Smuggler mine and learn how miners located and removed silver. Did you know the largest silver nugget ever found in the United States was dug out of the Smuggler mine? It weighed over a ton.
At the museum, students learn how silver ore was actually processed in Aspen. Throughout the field trip, students will gain a sense of what our community was like in the 1800s during the mining boom.
2. COMMUNITY SERVICE PROJECT AT ARBANEY PARK
Third graders work with the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers and the Town of Basalt on a spring service project. Students helped to weed, edge, and mulch the trees around Arbaney Park. The service project ties into our classroom work with the MindUP curriculum. Specifically, students are learning how to make a positive difference by taking mindful actions in our own community.
3. HALLAM LAKE
Spring – Wetland Study
Third graders travel to ACES Hallam Lake to explore the wetland community and to study aquatic macro-invertebrates. Focusing on the life cycle of insects, third graders collect and identify mayflies, stoneflies, caddisflies, scuds and more. Using a biotic index, students determine the health of the Hallam Lake ecosystem.
2.1 The duration and timing of life cycle events such as reproduction and longevity vary across organisms and species
4. ROCK BOTTOM RANCH
Spring – Geology Exploration
Third graders travel to Rock Bottom Ranch to review their rock cycle unit. Focusing on how landforms change over time, students explore the geologic history of the Roaring Fork Valley and complete a hands-on study of weathering and erosion. Experiential learning games also help students review the rock cycle and basic identification of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
3.1 Earth's materials can be broken down and/or combined into different materials such as rocks, minerals, rock cycle, formation of soil, and sand – some of which are usable resources for human activity
4TH GRADE FIELD TRIPS
1. RUEDI RESERVOIR AND THE HYDROPOWER PLANT
The 4th grade class travels to Ruedi Reservoir and the hydropower plant every September with the Roaring Fork Conservancy as part of their year long Watershed Education program. Students learn about hydropower from the City of Aspen hydropower plant operators who operate the Ruedi powerhouse, the history of Ruedi Reservoir and consider the many positive and negative impacts of Ruedi Reservoir on the Fryingpan Valley and surrounding areas.
This field trip is one of the monthly lessons and field trips students participate in throughout the school year with the Roaring Fork Conservancy.
2. ROCKY MOUNTAIN INSTITUTE
Fourth graders travel to the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) in Old Snowmass during Environmental Education Week. Rocky Mountain Institute's mission statement is to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. The statement fits beautifully with our Environment Education activities and standards, which is why we will be touring the home and office of the founder of RMI.
The home and office are heated and cooled through passive solar design, and powered by photovoltaic solar panels. Additionally, RMI grows tropical fruit including bananas, mangoes, papayas and avocados indoors, without a furnace, inside the greenhouse. Many principles of whole-systems thinking and integrative design are embodied in the design and operation of the building.
Your student will be learning about the work that RMI does locally in our community as well as projects they are currently working on around the world in order to create a more sustainable environment. We are excited to share this experience with our students.
3. ASPEN CAMP FOR THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING
Fourth Graders travel to the Aspen Camp for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Old Snowmass during the later part of May for an overnight experience. This field trip is part of their Environmental Education week. During their field trip they will complete a team building ropes course and participate in sign language classes. After eating a delicious spaghetti dinner, students will sit by the campfire and enjoy a story from one of the Spellbinders storytellers. The next morning, students eat breakfast and take a nature hike before returning to Basalt Elementary School. The memories made on the trip are priceless!
COSTA RICA CULTURAL IMMERSION EXPERIENCE
Spring Break 2013, a group of 4th through 7th grade students from Basalt went on an amazing adventure to Costa Rica with Spanish teacher, Miss Barr to practice their Spanish, be immersed in a different culture, and to learn all about the biodiversity of another climate. The group spent nine fun-filled days exploring the tropical rainforests, viewing volcanoes, and visiting beaches. Costa Rica has one of the most bio-diverse climates in the world and they were able to see many different kinds of birds, animals, and plants which included monkeys, sloths, toucans and many, many more. They were also privileged to be able to spend time at a school and orphanage where the kids were able to interact and play with children. Thanks to donations from the community, we were able to donate eight large suitcases full of clothing, toys, soccer equipment, and school supplies. It was an incredible experience for our students to reach out to impoverished kids in Costa Rica.
When the students returned, they expressed how thankful they are for the things that we have here in the United States.
Costa Rica 2014 begins on Saturday, June 7th.
In 2015, all 4th, 5th and 6th grade students and their families are invited to join us for an amazing adventure to Peru! More details coming soon!