| Vicki Whisenhunt

KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy CAP Students Enjoy an Awesome Day at the Arsenal!

KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy CAP Students Enjoy an Awesome Day at the Arsenal!Leading up to the field trip to Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge (RMANWR), students from KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy used their time in CAP Club having fun, getting to know each other, and learning about their local outdoor environments. The week of the field trip the students planned a menu and developed their own itinerary for how to spend the day at RMANWR.

The morning of the field trip the students were excited to share their itinerary with guest instructors and chaperones. Complete with 2 hikes, time for silent observation, plus lessons about Leave No Trace, orienteering and local ecology the group was ready for a jam-packed day!

  • “At Rocky Mountain Arsenal we walked a lot and saw cool animals, like bison, bald eagles, and black footed ferrets” (O).
  • “It was fun to see the animals” (J).
  • “I also liked when we had silent time”(I).
  • “On the hike we had fun and learned about milkweed” (N).

On this partially cloudy day, with light winds and a high of 60⁰F it was a perfect time of year to get to see milkweed seeds. A host to Monarch butterflies, the outer casings of the milkweed plants were soft and easier to crack open. The students enjoyed letting the cotton-like seeds blow out of their hands and into the prairies where they hoped the seeds would establish themselves. One of the students reflected that one of his favorite memories was sharing with his Mom what plants he learned about and what animals he saw. In addition to some local flora, “we visited a Black-Footed Ferret – we saw it sleep” (I)

KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy CAP Students Enjoy an Awesome Day at the Arsenal!Black-Footed Ferrets, a nocturnal mammal, are protected and fostered at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. “[For] North America’s most endangered mammal,” the Arsenal’s website explains, “The Refuge provides ideal habitat and prey base with its abundant prairie dog population and expanse of shortgrass prairie habitat”

As lunch time came around, “an exotic lunch” one student called it, “with our choice of food” (A), we realized that there would not be enough time to do all of the activities and lessons initially planned for. It didn’t take long though for the students to readjust the itinerary to make time for the Discovery Room – a room in the Visitor Center with all sorts of hands on learning materials and games. When reflecting on the field day, getting a chance to feel animal bones and fur, dissect owl pellets, and create a play with animal puppets were among what the students listed as highlights.

Written by CAP Instructor Eva Altermatt, with the help of her students!
See more photos from the trip here!



Categories: CAP, KIPP Colorado, Program News

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