This week we jumped right into the Community Action Process. Students spent Tuesday participating in a Brainwriting exercise to brainstorm local outdoor and environmental issues affecting the Boulder community. After the brainstorming was completed, students generated over 45 problems affecting our community from the brown cloud to invasive species infiltrating the natural ecosystem. By Friday, we narrowed our problems down and chose to focus on the importance of buying local and organic produce and goods. This is a complex issue with many impacts on the environment, so next week we will begin to define the problem, conduct in-depth research, consult with community experts, and help come up with a solution.
On Wednesday morning, we had another heated Jeopardy-style quiz on our Snow Sense reading assignment. After a stunning display of knowledge, strategy, and wit when it comes to analyzing avalanche hazards, Jesse, Tom, and Noah cliched the coveted “get out of journal free” card this week. We also spent some time going over the Left Hand Reservoir overnight information handout and broke up into cook groups. The class is looking forward to our first overnight winter camping extravaganza next weekend.
On Wednesday afternoon, we took the learning out of the classroom and into the community by dropping by Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS). In order to acquire hands on knowledge about the winter outdoor gear and equipment we will need for a safe outing next weekend, students picked a gear item to research and presented what they learned about their item to the class. Students learned about important equipment such as avalanche beacons, snow shovels, technical clothing, layering, and footwear. Students then learned things to consider before purchasing equipment such as use, price, and durability. They learned about the materials and manufacturing process of their particular gear item and speculated about how their piece of equipment helped prevent or contribute and environmental impact on the natural world. A special thanks to Mike and Jay (kickin’ it below) and the rest of the staff at EMS for sharing their store with our class and for being so patient with all of our questions – you rock EMS!