Exploring Higher Elevations on Snowshoes

Last week we headed back up to TA with our snowshoes loaned from Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC). Instead of sticking to the area around the school (elevation: ~7,400 feet) with piñon and juniper, we headed up Highway 64 to an elevation around 10,000 feet where we could explore some new species of trees.

Headed out on snowshoes
By now the students are all experts at moving through the snow with snowshoes!
Checking out some tracks
Enjoying the views


Taking a quick breather

After some important unstructured time for our students to explore, we discussed the environment around us. How is this different from the area around school? What trees are here?

Learning the types of evergreen trees


Our goal for the day was to collect some scientific data on trees. We introduced the word silviculture. Our students had recently discussed π and how to use it to calculate circumference from diameter.

Discussing how we can measure tree diameter given circumference.
How many students does it take to measure a tree’s circumference?
Discussing what height is appropriate for the measurement.
Measuring our “measuring string”
This tree is a little smaller.
By the end of the class, we just decided that we all love trees.

We ended up getting tree diameter samples from Douglas fir, aspen, and spruce trees. What a great, practical way to do calculations with π and apply math and science to a real life scenario!


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