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AE fourth graders earn trip to Denver museum

Posted: Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Alamosa Elementary fourth graders Zaquarya, left, and AceKing, right, tackle a hands-on science lesson at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science earlier this month. Photo courtesy of Alamosa Elementary

Courier staff writer

ALAMOSA — Ask any Alamosa Elementary (AE) fourth grader about spending a night at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science this spring and gooey eyeballs are bound to come up.

“When we dissected the eyeball, it was gross,” said AE fourth grader Brandon Reveles when recalling the recent field trip. “They were cow eyeballs. It was black inside and kind of full of jelly.”

In early May, the entire AE fourth grade class “camped in” at the museum, which included hands-on science lessons; a visit to the planetarium and the aquarium; and a stop over to see what the animals were up to at the Denver Zoo. This is the second year the teachers have brought nearly 150 students to the Front Range, aiming to bring textbook lessons to life.

“I think the misunderstanding is that it is just a fun field trip,” said AE fourth grade teacher Kelly Ozawa. “It’s fun, but there is such an educational value that goes along with it as well.”

Reveles couldn’t agree more.

“I loved it,” he said. “I learned so much about the minerals and rocks that form in our Earth. There was one that I was really surprised about, but I forgot the proper name. It was reddish and goldish; it was ruby and gold mixed together.”

The ways of the Earth also stunned AE fourth grader Didi Mendoza.

“The coolest thing I learned is about how our Earth was made,” Mendoza said. “It was made by a super volcano.”

It might not have been a gigantic eruption that allowed the students to take the field trip to the north, but in a way it wasn’t far off. In order for eyeballs, minerals and beasts from the past to come to life, a huge fund-raising effort was in effect for most of the school year.

“The fourth grade teachers got together and as a team we came up with how much we were going to have to raise and how we were going to get there,” Ozawa said.

The class raised more than $8,000 through a potato dinner and desert auction, candy sales and a family night showing of the movie Night at the Museum where concessions were sold in support of the cause. The money allowed not only all the students to participate, but for each child and chaperone to take home a T-shirt, too.

“The fund-raising went really good,” Mendoza said. “The best part was meeting people and talking to them about the trip.”

Her classmate Mila Cook, who most enjoyed sleeping near what she described as a giant peacock at the museum, also liked sharing with the community.

“We had to do a lot of fund-raising to save the money that we needed,” she said. “I liked walking around and talking to different people.”

AE Associate Principal Christy McBee said she was impressed with all the parent participation.

“The administration thanks all the parents for their support of this field trip,” McBee said. “It was awesome.”

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