Milliken Elementary

Students Share Their Experiences

During the 2015-2016 year, SOLE has undertaken a new way of evaluating student experiences: Photo-Elicitation. During this process, students take photos of what they learned and what they’d like to share with others. This helps us gather students’ perspectives and understand the experiences they have during field trips.

Random Milliken students were selected to participate during their field trip to Lory State Park. See what they experienced here!


Milliken Visits Lory State Park!

Milliken Elementary students were treated to stunning views and a rigorous hike on May 6th at Lory State Park. Fearless naturalists led students along a trail that revealed a waterfall, delicious-smelling ponderosa pine trees, neat rock formations, and a gorgeous overlook of the reservoir. At the base of the mountain, students learned about both the past and present inhabitants of the park as they listened to stories from history and examined wildlife pelts and skulls.

Several students also participated in our photo elicitation project in which they took photos and later described what makes each photo special so that Colorado Parks and Wildlife can see the field trip through the students’ eyes.



Exploring Depths Unkown at the Poudre Learning Center

April 14, 2016


Milliken SOLE students journeyed to the Poudre Learning Center on a beautiful day to explore all of the creatures that lurk in streams and lakes. As pelicans and herons soared through the skies above, fish swam the waters below. After an educational introduction on proper fish handling, students cast out their lines…

“I’ve got one, I’ve got one!”

Fishing did not go without success! Students gasped and giggled as they explored the fish up close— for many, this was the first time in their lives they’ve gotten this experience.

More elusive, lesser known organisms also hide beneath the water’s surface. Students trekked down to the river to collect sand, rocks, and water from the stream bed. An array of macro-invertebrates hid out of sight, discovered only with the aid of magnifiers and microscopes. Even the smallest of snails sparked awe and wonder.

What else hides beneath the surface? It is not swimming nor living, but sparkles in the sunlight if one is lucky enough to unearth it… Gold! The students had a blast panning for gold as they learned about the incredible history behind it. With the glimmer of gold came a sparkle in in their eyes.

With the sun shining and birds singing, there was no better day to be outside. We hope that our Milliken SOLE students and their families continue to explore depths unknown, whether it’s in the mountains up high or in their own backyards.

Fun and Fishing at Milliken’s Family Nature Night

April 12, 2016

Milliken students, their families, and SOLE partners joined together for a night of fun, fishing, outdoor activities, and prizes.

Congratulations to our grand prize winners! This family won a $70 gift certificate to Colorado Parks and Wildlife- enough for an annual State Parks pass!

Students and their families enjoyed an evening of nature themed fun with Colorado Parks & Wildlife and our fantastic participating partners: Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, A&H Adventures,  Barr Lake State Park, West Greeley Conservation District, and Poudre Learning Center.

The evening was filled with an array of exciting, educational outdoor activities. Students shouted with delight during Backyard Bass fishing practice and gasped with excitement at the opportunity to hold a snake. The gym was transformed into both an archery range and a planetarium. After trying their hands at a bow & arrow, students crawled into the Star Lab to see astronomy in action. In the mean time, bird photos graced the building- binoculars were the only way to identify them! Families also created their own customized water safety t-shirts, colored bird masks, tested their wildlife trivia skills, and played water conservation matching games.

The night culminated with pizza and prizes! Many families won fantastic outdoor gear, History Colorado tickets, and even a State Parks pass. After winning a 5 person tent, one mother exclaimed,

“We’re definitely going camping now!”

We hope that Family Nature Night has inspired everyone to get outside! Whether it be camping, hiking, fishing, or picnicking- we hope that our SOLE families can appreciate the beautiful places that Colorado has to offer.

Thank you to all of the school staff, partners, and volunteers who made this event happen!

Milliken Rides into the Past at History Colorado

February 12, 2016

SOLE students traveled through time, adventuring through the History Colorado Center to explore our state’s past. Students began on a journey through forests and plains, where pine beetles hid within trees and bison roamed the land. There was so much to see and a lot to soak in… Did you know that the bison’s bladder was used as a water bottle?

Suddenly, it was 1918 and students found themselves on the High Plains of a small town called Keota. Each student gained a new identity- in order to thrive, they had to take on that identity’s role and contribute to the community… In other words, chores! The students didn’t mind today’s tasks: collecting eggs, pumping water, and buying goods from the general store. If kids today could drive to the market in an old Model T Ford, chores might be a lot more fun nowadays!

Life may have been different back then, but there is one thing we can all agree on: Colorado will never cease to steal our hearts and lend adventure. We had a wonderful time exploring the museum with Milliken’s SOLE students. We’ll see you again in April!

Upcoming Events

We are excited to welcome Milliken Elementary to our 2015-2016 SOLE program! Check back for updates and photos of our upcoming events:


Friday, May 6th

Field Trip to Lory State Park