Cache La Poudre Middle School students participated in English, math, science, technology and other classes on the banks of the Poudre River during River Week, a long-standing learning tradition at the school, Sept. 21-28.
All 6-8 grade students enjoyed learning outside on the Poudre River, which flows just behind the school in LaPorte. Subject areas used the Poudre River classroom in different ways depending on the curriculum. Some English classes focused on writing poetry while technology students developed equipment to measure water flow.
“The Poudre River is a wonderful resource here. We are fortunate that we can walk out our back door and do this,” says Mary Richmond, science teacher. “The kids really enjoy being out here and as a science teacher, I think it’s important that kids get outside to do science.”
In Richmond’s class, students performed water quality tests to help them determine how this summer’s High Park fire may have affected the river. They measured pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and temperature of the water. Data from this year’s tests will be compared to data from previous years as part of a long-term water quality study.
“I like River Week because we get to do tests like pH tests,” said Jalin Anguiana, sixth-grader. “And we get to go in the water. It feels good to go in the water.”
Students also found debris from the fire like bits of charred wood that washed down the river after recent rains.
“The rains are bringing this down. The water was clear in the morning and then it rained. By the afternoon, the water was murkier,” said Richmond.