The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 12, 2010

CCHS offers exceptional field trips in meteorology, geology

Concord-Carlisle High School (CCHS) Science Teacher Jeffrey Yuhas has received permission from the Regional School Committee (RSC) to take several students to the American Meteorological Society Conference in Seattle, Washington, in January 2011. He described the trip to the RSC at their meeting on October 26. He and the students will be presenting at the conference. One will be an oral presentation about the meteorology course at CCHS. In addition, two poster presentations will focus on the efforts of CCHS Weather Services. One is about the website, how it is created and how it gets information out to the community. The other documents how students produce TV and radio broadcasts forecasting the weather.

Yuhas did not think any other high school students would be presenting at the conference. He said, “We’ll be the little high school that could.” Superintendent Diana Rigby praised Yuhas for his efforts. “We are so proud and so privileged that you will represent us at that conference.” She said this type of activity exemplifies the concept of 21st century learning.

The conference is international and is expected to draw thousands of attendees. A parent is expected to accompany each student at the conference. Rigby said that there was some money in the budget to help with airfare for the students.

Geology class plans trips

CCHS Science teacher Ray Pavlik received permission for three field trips for students in his geology elective for seniors, “Advanced Earth Science – Physical Geology and Geologic Mapping.” Yuhas, who was speaking for Pavlik, said, “The trips are an integral part of the course,” explaining it is hard to teach field geology completely in a classroom.

Principal Peter Badalament noted that the course was developed through the school’s STEM Academy. “STEM” stands for science, technology, engineering and math. The academy is funded through the Concord Education Fund and last year offered several extra-curricular classes, including one on bio-technology and another on robotics.

The course introduces students to sedimentology, structural geology, plate tectonics, mineralogy and glacial geology, with a focus on New England. The field trips will include a caving trip in New York, a trip to South Bristol, Maine for a geological study and kayaking and a trip to Cliff Island off Portland, Maine. There, students will map local geology and then create a digitized GIS Map with the information.

The geology class has 25 or 26 students. Last year, the course was offered as a seminar after school. This year, it is offered as a semester-long course. ∆

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