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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Roosevelt students get hands-on nature experience

  • Third-grade students from Roosevelt Elementary School visited Maxwell Wildlife Refuge Tuesday to get hands-on experience with nature and habitats.
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  • Third-grade students from Roosevelt Elementary School visited Maxwell Wildlife Refuge Tuesday to get hands-on experience with nature and habitats.
    The students took a tram tour of the refuge, went on a nature hike, and explored the edges of the McPherson State Fishing Lake. Kelsey Otto, a third-grade teacher, said the trip helped students experience things they had learned about in class.
    “It’s much different than reading about it in a book,” Otto said. “We thought this would be a good field trip for them to see prairies and fields.”
    Many students said they enjoyed seeing wildlife during the tram tour.
    “I liked seeing the buffalo,” said Adrionna Eagle, a student. “I got to watch them do something.”
    Atlanta Wing, another student, said she liked being close to the animals.
    “They came up so close to us,” she said. “It was exciting.”
    Some students liked seeing how the buffalo interacted with their habitat, and others said seeing the animals gave them more questions.
    “Some of them were really furry, and some of them weren’t,” said Joshua Wehrman, a student. “They didn’t tell us why.”
    Amber Smith, meanwhile, said her favorite part was seeing elk at a distance.
    “They look like teeny tiny little people,” she said.
    After the tour, students were given clipboards and asked to write down things they observed about the habitat around the lake and on a nature hike. Students saw frogs and deer tracks, many plants, and some garbage.
    Amanda Backhus, another third-grade teacher, said the experience was part of the district’s plan to help kids be career ready when they graduate by exposing them to different kinds of jobs.
    “They don't always realize the people with them on field trips are working,” Backhus said. “It gives them exposure to different careers, and by the time they get out of fifth grade, they’ve had four learning experiences each year.”
    Contact Josh Arnett by email at jarnett@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @ArnettSentinel.

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