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In October, a number of Monongalia County sixth graders from Mountaineer Middle, South, Suncrest and Westwood jumped at an opportunity to spend four days in Preston County at the WVU Outdoor Education Center's Science Adventure School. Buses arrived with students prepared for chilly and wet conditions most days. There was little time to notice the weather as helmets were strapped on with related gear for the daily treks.
Adventure School educators guided students on aerial activities, including ziplining, high and low ropes courses, high tower climbing and rock climbing as part of the experiential schedule for the middle schoolers. The outdoor education continued around the lake and forest with lessons in Freshwater Ecology, Science Identity, Forest Bathing (meaning....spending time in the forest), Wildlife Study and Field Games.
STEM education was incorporated throughout the week in courses such as “Science Behind the Climbing” where engineering principals related to ropes and other climbing gear became clear as students scaled and repelled from rockfaces and log towers.
The Adventure School aims to move students out of their comfort zones and allow them to work hard and handle failure as necessary steps in building self-confidence and attaining goals.
Although students faced physical challenges on each course, some also conquered fear as their classmates cheered them on to reach higher, try harder, and go further. Physical efforts were aided by trained spotters and proper equipment, but mental strength was built through deciding to "go for it" - daily.
View snapshots of a typical day in the sixth grade adventures in our PHOTO GALLERY.
Learn more about the incredible staff and WVU Outdoor Education Center facilities in the following links: https://scienceadventureschool.wvu.edu/ and https://adventurechallenge.wvu.edu/home