SOLE takes a Stroll through Staunton State Park
May 25-26, 2016
As the sun beamed down on flourishing plant life, McGlone SOLE students leaped, laughed, and learned their way through Staunton State Park. Humming birds buzzed through the sky and beetles crept along the forest floor. Flowers stood out brightly and lichen laid itself upon the rocks.
Without the sun, none of this would be possible.
In the morning, McGlone students explored the concept of energy transfer. The sun grants plants the energy they need to grow, herbivores eat the plants they need to survive, carnivores consume the prey that allows them to live, and decomposers- the mushrooms and beetles- complete the circle of life.
The afternoon brought a beautiful nature hike. Students asked fantastic questions, made stunning observations, and jotted down some notes along the way. No stone was left unturned… we explored rocks, birds, plants, scat, lichen, archaeology, history, insects, and more!
Though hail struck the earth on the second day, spirits were not dampened. The students proved themselves to be a courageous, positive bunch despite storms that shortened their field trip.
This was SOLE’s last field trip of the school year. Thank you to this group of amazing, inspiring, brilliant students for making it great! Thank you to school staff, chaperones, and Staunton staff & volunteers as well. We look forward to next year!
McGlone Make Memories at Family Nature Night
April 26, 2016
McGlone students, their families, and SOLE partners joined together for a night of fun, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
Students and their families enjoyed an evening of nature themed fun with Colorado Parks & Wildlife and our fantastic participating partners: Wildlife Experience, Cabela’s, History Colorado, Environmental Learning for Kids, City of Aurora Morrison Nature Center, USFWS Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.
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 try their hands at archery. Families worked together to solve wildlife trivia questions, bird themed puzzles, and Colorado history bingo. Meanwhile, others explored a variety of skulls, tracks, and pelts. Outside, families opened their eyes and ears during a nature scavenger hunt… proof that many natural wonders can be found in your own backyard!
As always, the night culminated with pizza and prizes. Thanks to Cabela’s, many families went home with great outdoor gear such as kids’ tents, sleeping bags, and water bottles. Others won fishing poles, binoculars, and even our grand prize annual State Parks pass!
The only thing better than getting kids outdoors is including the entire family. The SOLE program would like to thank all of our partners, McGlone staff, and everyone else who made this event happen.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle with Denver Waste Management
March 8, 2016
Let’s talk trash. It’s an unfortunate fact of life and we produce thousands of pounds of it per year. Fortunately, Denver Waste Management can help us decrease our impact on the earth!
Denver Waste Management visited McGlone Elementary to share information about the three R’s that help keep our environment healthy: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. How much trash do we produce per day? What types of items can be recycled? Can we compost what we don’t eat?
It turns out, each individual generates about 4 pounds of trash per day. Luckily a large portion of this waste can be recycled. Anything from soda cans to shampoo containers, paper notebooks to cardboard boxes, and glass jars to food cans can all be recycled. In fact, everyday items such as carpet, car parts, and coats are all made from recycled materials!
Students had the opportunity to ask questions about a variety of household items that may or may not be recyclable. After that, they watched a short video about the recycling process.
If we want to preserve our outdoors, the three R’s are essential. The health of our wildlife, water, and environment depends on us. Even the smallest of actions make a difference.
We hope that our McGlone SOLE students gained a meaningful understanding of ways to help our environment. We look forward to seeing them again at Staunton State Park in May!
SOLE Students Roar with Excitement at The Wildlife Experience
February 12, 2016
McGlone SOLE students were eager to sprint past statues of elk, eagles, cranes, and beavers to The Wildlife Experience museum. Upon entry, students split into groups to explore three incredible experiences.
Today’s theme: Biomes! Students learned what makes a biome: the climate, soil, plants, and animals that inhabit a particular area. Students cycled through stations representing common biomes. They found snakes and cactus in the desert, lions in the savannah, polar bears in the tundra, and toucans in the rainforest. The best part? The opportunity to touch a real Ball Python in the end!
Elephants, wolves, and monkeys, oh my! After learning about the biomes, students explored the museum’s Globeology exhibit. They searched high and low— even in the depths of the ocean— for species listed on their Expert Level Scavenger Hunt. Wide eyed and laughing with excitement, they came face to face with polar bears and howler monkeys in an array of life-like displays. After circling the globe’s biomes , students dove into the underwater kingdom of Asia during a movie showing of Magic of Big Blue.
Though students traversed the Earth in mere hours, there is still so much to explore! Nature exists all around us. One doesn’t need to look further than his or her own backyard to appreciate the plants, insects, and animals we share this world with. We look forward to seeing McGlone students again with an in-class presentation next month!
McGlone Elementary Uncovers Denver History
November 11, 2015
The History Colorado Center in downtown Denver welcomed Denver Public School McGlone Elementary for their first SOLE outing of the year last week! Students were eager to jump inside and discover all this hugely interactive museum had to offer, even with it being one of the first snowy days of the season.
SOLE students were warmly welcomed by interpretive staff and then split into groups before they were allowed to explore all the great hands-on exhibits spanning decades of history unique to Colorado. From Mesa Verde to the Sunshine Mine, there was a lot to do and seemingly not enough time to explore everything!
One of the biggest hits among the SOLE 4th graders was the “Destination Colorado” exhibit, modeled after a little town named Keota. Here, kids got to drive down a bumpy dirt road in an original Model T, purchase time-authentic goods in the general store, and learn about how the Dust Bowl of the 1930s made life ever-challenging for the farming and ranching Coloradans before us.
Also a hit was the exhibit featuring the I-70 corridor and the treasures it leads to. Students learned about snow pack and our increasing battle for water, how travel has changed the face of our state, and even got to explore a [seemingly] real forest, complete with pine branches and (gasp!) pine beetles.
The end of the day seemed to come much too fast down at the History Colorado Center. Nevertheless, our SOLE team is incredibly excited to welcome McGlone Elementary as one of the 25 schools participating this year, and we genuinely can’t wait for more events with this incredible group of students and staff alike!