Wetland study teaches class life lessons - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Wetland study teaches class life lessons

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April 14, 2004

Albany -- What started out as just another field trip for some Albany High students Wednesday morning, turned into a learning experience that they never expected.

Environmental Science students starting their first hand look at Wetlands. The students will paddle canoes about one third of a mile on the Muckalee Creek behind the Parks at Chehaw. Most of the students had never been in a canoe, and it showed.

 Just when it looked like the kids are getting the feel of rowing, two canoes tip over. Four boys and girls are soaked and cold.

 The kids start taking care of their classmates. Tenth Grader Amanda Barnes said "Well , we kind of panicked, but then it showed that all learned to work together. We pulled through it. It was hard, but we did it."

A Chehaw van is called for, and soon the cold and wet students head back to school. But the rest demand to finish. Darton Challenge Coordinator Tim Barker said "We want to stay. We want to do this.So I was very proud."

 Teacher Nancy Gay said "Seeing everything the others had been through, they wanted to stay. Shows tremendous character."

Now they are interested in the ecosystem they are in. Barker's lessons were listened to closely.

Soon the students got back into the canoes, and headed to the next station. This was no longer just class, this was an adventure. Barnes said "We didn't really get along in the classroom, but now we're actually learning to work like a team."

And they learned more about wetlands, and themselves, in one day, than they would get in a classroom in a lifetime.

Barker is scheduled to take three more classes on his Wetland Program in the next three weeks. He is not sure what changes will be made, but he hopes the classes will continue.

posted at 4:22 PM by jimw@walb.com