CHS fire spring overnight. Students looking out at a view


Centaurus’ visit to Left Hand Fire Station

Centaurus High School students explore questions about fire and visit a wildland fire station on their overnight. Written by Field Instructor Jarrod Gaut. See more photos here! Becalmed atop a hill, the group surveys a wide and snowy vista. The wind whispers hello as it heralds a frosty moisture. Clouds marshal themselves above snowy peaks… Read more »

Three Centaurus students at Caribou Ranch


It’s time to build a quinzhee with Centaurus!

It’s time to build a quinzhee! Written by Field Instructor Jarrod Gaut. Escrito en español más abajo. See more photos here.  The marvelous CAP class at Centaurus High were ready; they donned their snowshoes and trudged out to Caribou Ranch lugging their snow shovels. Complete professionals, and hard set to their task, they piled up… Read more »

A Centaurus high school student sets up a tent in the school yard


Should you drink tap or bottled water?

Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel. Escrito en español más abajo. The students in the Centaurus High School Fall 2022 CAP class are a very diverse group. About ¾ of the students are newcomers to the United States, bringing with them rich and varied experiences. As we studied water in Colorado, we took some time… Read more »

Two CHS students check out macroinvertebrates from Coal Creek.


What Did Centaurus High School’s Coal Creek Data Reveal?

Read an update about Centaurus High School CAP Class’s water quality project on Coal Creek in Lafayette, CO. You can find the original article here. Our Spring 2022 fire/water Coal Creek project all started with the students. Their primary interest was contaminación de agua – or water pollution. When explored further, the students’ overriding view… Read more »

Two students taking a selfie at Cheley


Overnight Q&A with Centaurus CAP

A Q&A! In early October, the students from the Centaurus High School CAP class spent two beautiful days in the mountains at Cheley Outpost. They made fires, cooked a feast, went on a night hike, learned about fire ecology, and did a service project. Q&A (question and answer) with the students: Q:What was the most… Read more »

Ranger Barrientos shows off his nature journal


CHS Nature Journals with Ranger Barrientos

Escrito en español más abajo. Check out more photos here! Written by CI Instructor Jessie Colin. On one of the hottest days of the year, ten Centaurus High School students, two Cottonwood Institute instructors, and one Centaurus teacher set out to the well-shaded Anne U. White trail in Boulder. Once there, we all met Ranger… Read more »

Kira Changemakers


Alumni Spotlight: Kira Gilliland and the Impact of CAP Class

Escrito en español más abajo. Written by Cottonwood Institute alum Kira Gilliland. Cottonwood Institute’s flagship program, the Community Adventure Program (CAP), has been at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, CO since 2017. More recently, Cottonwood created Changemakers, a high school leadership program for alumni of our Boulder County programs. The Changemakers program gives about ten… Read more »

CHS water testing marshall mesa


Centaurus gathers Marshall Mesa fire stream data

For their April field day with Cottonwood Institute, Centaurus High School students tested the water quality of Coal Creek above and below the Marshall Mesa fire site. Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel. Check out more photos here! Escrito en español más abajo. Water pollution is on the minds of the Centaurus High School CAP… Read more »

CHS winter field day


Caption This! Centaurus Winter Field Day

Centaurus High School held a caption contest with photos from their winter field day – scroll down to see! Post written by field instructor Camille Zwaan, and captions written by the students. Escrito en español más abajo Centaurus High School’s CAP Class set out on their winter field day trip on Wednesday, February 9th to… Read more »



Centaurus: Fish Stories/ Historias de Pesca

Written by CAP Instructor Erin Angel (Escrito en español más abajo) What is the saying: even a bad day of fishing beats a good day of work? Well, we had a great day of fishing, which surely beats just about anything. At the beginning of the semester the students of the Centaurus High School class… Read more »