Pennock Boasts Record Breaking Attendance at their Family Nature Night
April 21, 2016
A total of 265 guests joined Colorado Parks and Wildlife & our partners for the largest Family Nature Night to date.
Fluffy white clouds painted a blue sky as families enjoyed an evening of nature themed fun with Colorado Parks & Wildlife and our fantastic participating partners: The Wildlife Experience, Cabela’s, History Colorado, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Barr Lake State Park, and the Butterfly Pavilion.
The sun beamed down on Backyard Bass, a fun fishing activity where kids can catch “Bluefin Tuna,” “Goldfish,” and more. As some families cast out their lines, others tested their wildlife trivia knowledge and bird identification skills.
Though we teach Leave No Trace principles in our State Parks, traces of animals can be found scattered throughout the forest. Students explored these clues by investigating scat, tracks, and skulls. Meanwhile, families created their own customized boating safety t-shirts and explored the wonderful world of insects. Always a big hit, students also got the chance to try their hands at archery!
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 and camping chairs. Others won fishing poles, binoculars, History Colorado tickets, and even our grand prize annual State Parks pass!
The only thing better than getting kids outdoors is including the entire family. With 265 attendees, this was the largest Family Nature Night ever! The SOLE program would like to thank all of our partners, Pennock staff, and everyone else who made this event happen.
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 Pennock students were selected to participate during their field trip to the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center. See what they experienced here!
A Day in Court
February 22-23, 2016
When is the last time you actually wanted to go to court? Fortunately Pennock students were guilt-free and had nothing to fear! Instead of arguing a case, they spent the day exploring the wonders within the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center.
What’s it like to be a judge? How do you prepare a case? Students sped around the Colorado Judicial Learning Center in search of answers. They looked, read, heard, and touched their way through the interactive exhibits in order to understand how our judicial system works. Many took on the roles of prosecutors, juries, lawyers, and judges. Did they have fun? Yes, Your Honor!
Afterwards, students wound up and up to gaze out at the Colorado State Capitol from one of the highest floors. Colorado emblems are hidden throughout the building. Little did students know that even the floor they stood upon was in the shape of a “C.”
Our newly inspired Justices explored the Supreme Court Courtroom, public art displays, and —shhhhh— even the Supreme Court Library. Students brilliantly recited the Constitution from memory and awed at the ancient languages painted along the windows.
Protecting the outdoors we love requires laws, policies, and the people that prepare them. We hope that our SOLE students can appreciate what it takes to conserve nature from a different perspective, after a day in court.
A Rendezvous with SOLE Educators
December 16, 2015
For the second year in a row, educators from CPW and History Colorado joined together at Pennock Elementary for their annual 4th grade Rendezvous Day. This event is a whole school day set aside for fourth grade students to learn and explore about Colorado’s rich history of mountain men who settled the state and their interaction with Colorado’s wildlife and land.
150 SOLE students cycled through four stations:
– How to make your own track id guide
– Beaver adaptations and the beaver fur trade
– Mountain Man artifacts and tools
– Mining activity simulated by mining the chocolate chips out of a cookie
By making the connection between Colorado’s history of early settlers benefiting from our natural resources, we hope SOLE students will feel more ownership to the great state they call home. Pennock, thank you for inviting us to your Rendezvous!
Pennock Visits Barr Lake State Park
September 16-18, 2015
Pennock Elemetary started out their SOLE experience this year by heading to Barr Lake State Park and Wildlife Refuge. While soaking up the beautiful September weather, students learned all about birds—the various kinds that called Barr Lake home, how our flying friends are studied via bird banding, and exploring the lake ecosystem through birding hikes. Volunteers from Bird Conservancy of the Rockies delivered material through incredibly hands-on learning stations, including an urban-bird obstacle course and observing how to safely capture and release birds through mist nets.
A Day on the Plains
Pennock Elementary kids ventured out to The Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge for a day of exploring about two very important (and cool) species: the American Bison and the Black Footed Ferret. Students got the opportunity to reassemble an entire bison skeleton and learn about their biology and historical significance, before learning about Colorado’s most endangered animal, the Black Footed Ferret. Rocky Mountain Arsenal just released 30 of these guys from captivity in an effort to stabilize their population. Students got to see both animals first hand, including live bison on a safari spotting trip around the Refuge.