Salida Visits History Colorado to Kick Off the Year!
Longfellow Elementary students started this year off on the right foot by going on their first SOLE field trip in the first month of school! Getting a jump on the year meant taking all four classes on a three hour bus ride to downtown Denver’s History Colorado. By the time they arrived, everyone was eager to sit out in the beautiful sunshine and enjoy some lunch together.
When it was time to go in, the excitement was palpable! As students arrived in the main lobby, many were excited by the buffalo and large floor map of Colorado. Four groups were divided to head off to explore different areas in the museum.
One area that was particularly popular was all about the Dust Bowl. This week it is easier than ever to imagine being caught in a giant natural disaster such as the farmers suffered through in the Dust Bowl with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to the south, wildfires burning throughout the west, and earthquakes in Mexico all happening at the same time. What is truly difficult to think about is how long they had to endure the storms and the conditions they faced. Students got a taste of what it would be like by entering a simulation house that reenacts a ‘roller’ storm complete with sound and light effects.
One budding engineer, Maya, discovered how the interactive house used a rotating wheel to show the before and after storm scenes of the windmill in the window of the house.
The intrepid miners of Sunnyside Mine learned about what life was like working underground in search of silver. Easton led off a team of muckers showing off his strength, and Melissa was one of the managers on the explosives teams, making sure everyone was safe. This was definitely one of the more exciting sound experiences with all of the roars and shuddering surrounding everyone.
When it came to visiting Mesa Verde, students enjoyed having the opportunity to explore hands-on activities on their own. Particularly interesting was examining the model of the Mesa Verde buildings, and some students also experimented with making twine and painting. Life was certainly much different then than it is now. It was fascinating to look back at what people were able to make and do even hundreds of years ago.
One special treat was being able to explore a reproduction of the prairie town of Keota in Northeast Colorado. Students were thrilled to visit the general store, ‘drive’ the old car down a video road, milk a cow, and experience what life might have been like in Colorado’s earlier years.
At the end of the day, people were feeling well-satisfied with such a fun trip into the big city. It was sad to have to leave, but the experiences will last! The 4th grade classes of Longfellow will have a lot to talk about in the coming weeks about the experiences they had at History Colorado and how they fit into the big picture of our shared history.
The SOLE program would like to thank everyone who made this special, engaging trip happen, including the staff and volunteers from History Colorado, the staff, volunteers, bus drivers, and parents from Longfellow Elementary, and of course the students.