The students scrambled into a rainbow of waterproof jackets and rain boots. They were ready for an adventure.
The Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science kindergartners explored the Shqui Tsatnu Creek Trail in Kenai on Wednesday with Dan Pascucci or “Mr. Dan,” education specialist for the Kenai Watershed Forum.
It was the first “Being There” trip for the two kindergarten classes. The students focused on sensing the world around them — what they saw, heard, smelled and touched.
Before leaving the classroom, Pascucci told the kids what they would be doing on their trip to the creek and the students guessed what thing they might experience such as seeing mushrooms, hearing birds and touching trees.
On the way to the creek the group stopped a few times and shared with their classmates what they saw, heard, smelled and touched.
The group entered the trail from 5th Avenue. Kindergartner Miles Metteer said “walking in the woods” was his favorite part, he said, because he liked the woodchip trail.
On 4th Avenue, which overlooks the creek, the students saw how the water flows under the road through a “big tube,” which, Pascucci explained, was a culvert.
“If that big tube was not there, the water would get higher and higher,” Pascucci said to the students as they looked at the creek and its many small feeder sources on the north side of 4th Avenue.
Then the group crossed 4th Avenue and saw the water flow out of the culvert in one larger, single creek.
Kindergartner Gracie Every said her favorite part was seeing the “big tube.”
“On the other side the water goes through the (tube) and then water goes down the other (side) out the tube,” she said, explaining what she learned.
Pascucci led the students down closer to the creek where the kids spent time feeling the grass, rocks and plants and listening to the water.
Teacher Robyn Zinszer said Pascucci will come to the kindergarten classes four times this school year, but the students will also revisit the creek without Pascucci. Kaleidoscope students work with the Watershed through sixth grade learning about Shqui Tsatnu Creek doing water quality testing, exploring the habitat and doing other projects. Zinszer took photos during the excursion and said the class will put together a book using the pictures.
Back in the classroom Pascucci wrapped up the session, discussing with students the different things they sensed from seeing the fall leaves to smelling fresh air.
“All of those (senses) helped us to get a better understanding of where we were,” Pascucci said.