On Sept. 20, Minden Elementary School teachers Marlene Moyer and Claudia Bertolone-Smith brought 42 fifth-graders to learn about Lake Tahoe aboard a research boat with Great Basin Outdoor School.
Students tested water quality and observed zooplankton on the boat, dug watershed models in the sand at Zephyr Cove, did activities on aquatic ecology, and played cooperative team-building games on the beach.
Pam Ertel's Minden fifth-graders are scheduled for an overnight winter ecology and snowshoeing adventure in January. They will stay in heated cabins on the shore of Lake Tahoe and enjoy hot camp meals while learning about the Sierra snowpack, winter adaptations of animals and plants, and winter safety.
Activities help students meet many curriculum standards, especially in science, said officials from Great Basin Outdoor School. Programs are especially designed for fifth- and sixth-grade students, and leadership training and experience opportunities are offered for high school and college-age students.
Great Basin Outdoor School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which has been offering field studies on the shore of Tahoe for more than 10 years. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, Nevada Division of Forestry, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and others provide support to keep student fees below actual cost and to promote protection of Tahoe's water quality and reduction of fire danger in the Tahoe Basin.