Introducing our 7th-9th grade Española River Classroom!

For the very first time this year, NMWC is getting to work with GATE students in 7th-9th grades in the Española Public School District! You may recognize a few familiar faces- some of these students are graduates of our 4th-6th grade River Classroom.

We have a very exciting year planned for these young scientists- we’ll be building kayaks and using them to learn about buoyancy, density, and resistance, as well as exploring riparian and lake ecosystems of northern New Mexico. This is a pretty long task list for the year, and we got off to a great start by learning how to paddle on Abiquiu Lake. Once again, our friends with the US Army Corps of Engineers greatly helped us out with loaner life jackets!

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Students carry boats and paddles to the water.

It was the very first time these students have ever been in a canoe or a kayak.

Launching the kayak!
Launching the kayak!
Canoeing in front of Pedernal
Canoeing in front of Pedernal

Everybody got the hang of it pretty quickly, and we went on an adventure down the lakeshore. It got fairly warm, and a few students decided to jump in and cool off.

Cooling off in Abiquiu Lake
Cooling off in Abiquiu Lake
Learning a few tricks of the trade from our expert paddler
Learning a few tricks of the trade from our expert paddler
Paddling around a buoy
Paddling around a buoy

Part of the philosophy of this class is that people must experience and enjoy the outdoors in order to feel a sense of ownership. Besides learning important science skills, these students are learning to enjoy being outdoors. We hope that this will lead to a group of students who work to protect and conserve our vital habitats in northern New Mexico.

Headed out into the open lake!
Headed out into the open lake!

This class is an absolutely fantastic group of kids who are very motivated and learn quickly. We can’t wait to see what the year holds!

Christy

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