Last River Classroom of the Year

Last Wednesday was our last River Classroom of the year. The students have worked very hard this year, and we’ve learned a great deal about energy, our local riparian and lake environments, and how to assess the health of these important ecosystems. After all of this learning, we took a day to enjoy the beauty of northern New Mexico.

We skipped rocks.

Students selecting the perfect rocks for skipping.
Students selecting the perfect rocks for skipping.
What kinds of energy are involved in skipping rocks?
What kinds of energy are involved in skipping rocks?
Who can skip a rock the farthest?
Who can skip a rock the farthest?

Our fantastic bus driver, Mario, won the contest for the most skips.

This one went almost all the way across!
This one went almost all the way across!

A few of the students wanted to swim. We made a deal that if the water was warmer than 65 degrees F, they could swim.

Unfortunately (for them), it was only 59 degrees.

Testing the water temperature.
Testing the water temperature.

Instead of swimming, students had to be content with sitting on the edge of the lake and having a contest to see who could keep their feet in the water the longest.

Toes in the water!
Toes in the water!

Everybody found different ways to explore Abiquiu Lake.

A few students watched waterfowl through a scope.

Watching eared grebes through the scope.
Watching eared grebes through the scope.

A few students explored potholes in the rock, which were full of rain from the night before. We tested the pH of the rainwater and found that it was considerably lower than the lake and river water.

Checking out a pothole in a rock.
Checking out a pothole in a rock.

Most students were content to explore the lake shore and check out the incredible views.

Hopping along the shore.
Hopping along the shore.
Gorgeous skies with cumulus clouds!
Gorgeous skies with cumulus clouds!

The day’s main event was a picnic, complete with hot dogs! Our USACE rangers helped us reserve a group shelter and joined in the fun.

Mario, chef and bus driver extraordinaire.
Mario, chef and bus driver extraordinaire.
Having another hot dog.
Having another hot dog.

Finally, after a group trash pick up, we all went on a hike to work off that big lunch.

Hiking across the new bridge.
Hiking across the new bridge.

It was sad to say goodbye to our students for the summer.

Goodbye for now!
Goodbye for now!

We have a number of exciting events planned for this summer, and then we’ll see our wonderful River Classroom students again in the fall!

Christy

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