July 14, 2016
There are some skills that are better learned in places other than a classroom – places like dangling fifty feet in the air, for instance. Day 4 of our program marked our first Experimentory Expedition – a field trip to Morse Hill Educational Center in Shutesbury, MA. Program Proctor Katie Stoll served as chaperone and tells us about her group’s experience in today’s post.
After two full days of classes and co-curricular activities, the Experimentors traveled to Morse Hill Outdoor Education Center for the first of many field trips! With many different levels of experience, the Experimentors supported and encouraged each other during the bus ride to the ropes course. Some students felt unsure if they would be comfortable on the high ropes due to their fear of heights. On the other hand, others were eager to climb all the way to the top of each and every obstacle!
Upon our arrival, the students’ creativity was put to the test as they faced various challenging scenarios. One group of students was
|Fun with Twirlies!|
presented with a small pile of ‘Twirlies’ enclosed by a large circle traced out by a rope along the ground. The Experimentors were asked to work together to retrieve all of the Twirlies without touching the rope or the ground. This seemed impossible at first, but the students brainstormed with one another until they discovered that they could interlock their hands using a technique called a “circus grip.” In that way they were able to carefully lean into the circle to grab the Twirlies. All of the students were very imaginative and resourceful, and this set the tone for a fun and exciting day!
Later on in the afternoon, we moved on to the high ropes course. This portion of the ropes course tested the students’ boundaries as they climbed up trees and dodged obstacles high in the treetops. Eager to get started, Ava was the first to volunteer to climb up an extremely tall tree to a platform located at the very top. Once she reached the platform, she was asked to literally take a leap of faith relying on our guide to catch and lower her back to the ground. Her brother, Abram, shouted words of encouragement from the ground – all the while realizing that she had set the bar high.
On a different obstacle, Daniel, Sami D, Amethyst, and many more tested their balance on The Catwalk – a long wooden log elevated nearly twenty feet in the air. After climbing onto the log – a feat in itself – two students started on opposite sides and had to work together as they crossed and eventually passed each other in order to reach the other end. All of the students displayed great teamwork and even those that were watching were constantly offering advice and encouragement in support of their peers.
Despite the intense heat and the incessant bugs, the students maintained a positive and optimistic outlook throughout the entire day. Even though some students were afraid of heights at first, they all pushed themselves to take the next step and try new things. All in all, the students all walked away from the day with a heightened character and a deeper understanding of teamwork. Great work, Experimentors!
– Katie S