Eighth graders visit Tom Ridge Environmental Center

by Dayna Woodruff, staff writer

On Friday Sept.15, the eighth grade students visited the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) at Presque Isle. The students learned about the wildlife, weather, and historical elements of Presque Isle in Erie. “We have a rare and natural resource within driving distance, so it is great thing to be able to share it with students,” said Mr. Mike Brenneman, seventh grade reading teacher.

The grade was split into two groups; girls with Mrs. Kara Bechtel and Mrs. Anne Motter, and boys with Mr. Brad Wise and Mr. Brenneman. The girls’ part of the trip began with going inside the TREC and a movie about extreme weather while the boys explored the outdoors. While outside, the students waded in the water, caught fish with fishing nets, and they learned about the history of Presque Isle. The two groups then switched activities. Eighth grader Josie Deeter said, “My favorite part was when we caught fish and when they played a science movie about tornadoes, glaciers, and forest fires.”

The trip was funded by a grant from the TREC, which helped make the trip affordable and easy to plan. Mr. Brenneman said, “I fully expect that the eighth graders will have this opportunity next year.”

Overall, the response from students was positive. Deeter mentioned that she would like to visit the TREC again. Mrs. Bechtel said, “I think most of the kids enjoyed the trip.”

“I was thanked by many students for planning the trip, and I feel that they enjoyed and appreciated the experience,” Mr. Brenneman said.

(Photos contributed by Mrs. Kara Bechtel.)

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