Middle School Enrichment Challenge Students Combine Science, Math and Art on Field Trip

Students learned about water testing, as they tested sample they collected from the nearby Wenatchee River.


 Middle School “Challenge” students were rewarded for meeting their goals and challenges throughout the year with a science field trip to the Barn Beach Reserve in Leavenworth. The Challenge Program is an enrichment program that any middle school student may join.

“It’s similar to Academic Challenge at the high school,” says Enrichment Coordinator Kari DeMarco. “It encourages kids to be involved in their school activities, keep their grades up, do community service, and explore possible future careers.”

Challenge students earn points in the different categories, and if they earn enough points they’re rewarded with certificates, medals, celebrations or field trips, like the trip to Barn Beach Reserve.

“The kids want a fun reward,” says DeMarco, “but even the field trip needs to be a learning experience. With the combination of hands-on math, science, and art activities, the kids have fun while learning.”

The Barn Beach Reserve provides exhibits and educational programming that connect science and nature, the arts, and cultural history in the Greater Wenatchee Valley.

Students examined insects beneath a microscope, then calculate dimentions to draw the insect at ten times its size

This week thirty-four middle-school Challenge students from Orchard, Pioneer, and Foothills visited Barn Beach Reserve, where volunteers led activities that included learning the proper use of binoculars, a guided birding walk, and using microscopes to study insects then drawing those insects at ten times their normal size in an art/math lesson.

“The Reserve staff looks at state learning goals, and creates fun activities to facilitate learning,” says DeMarco.

Volunteers taught proper casting technique.

The kids also learned to tie knots for fishing, and to cast a fishing line, a skill taught by local fishing guru Dave Graybill and other volunteers.

“On Tuesday we were rained on, but the kids never complained,” says DeMarco. “Barn Beach Reserve was a great experience for all of us.”


--Photos by Kari DeMarco