'No Child Left Inside' brings LB 5th graders to North Head

<I>Contributed photo</I><BR>Long Beach students recently visited North Head Lighthouse in Cape Disappointment State Park to learn about science and the outdoors.

CAPE D - Thursday, Feb. 19, fifth graders from Long Beach Elementary were treated to the third in a series of "No Child Left Inside" outdoor classroom experiences.

These opportunities are made possible by a science grant administered by Ranger Julie Tennis of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and state park. Approximately once each month, Ms. Tennis and her team provide in-class instruction and activities in addition to the outdoor field trips

The scientific emphasis so far this year has been on ecosystems and habitats. Ranger Julie first presented a classroom lesson targeted to identification of ecosystem factors, with a follow up trip to Beards Hollow to extend the learning into our local environment. Mapping ecosystems at the Willapa Wildlife Refuge Headquarters gave the kids hands-on experience with landscape as one of the abiotic factors that define an organism's habitat.

The most recent visit to North Head introduced the students to another type of ecosystem. Fifth graders were able to use a line of viewing scopes to observe a bluff ecosystem in detail. They also created a model of the Columbia River Plume in a jar, used scientific equipment under the direction of a scientist conducting research on seabird behavior, and counted the steps as they climbed up into North Head lighthouse. The weather was cooperative and they all enjoyed a gorgeous panoramic view from the Olympic Mountain Range to the north, across the Columbia River, and south to Tillamook Head.

The Ocean Beach School District fifth grade students are indeed fortunate to be able to participate in these educationally valuable, carefully planned, expertly administered, and just plain fun lessons! "We can't wait for the next visit from Ranger Julie!"

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