Summer 2014 Participants Arrive, Embark on Five-day Field Trip
June 3rd, 2014
By pre-service teacher An Nguyen
Our group started the first day of the five days field trip at 8.15 in the morning. We left campus after packing the vans around 9.15. During our two hours drive, we talked about different layers of rock abreast the interstates. Besides that, Mark also shared an interesting story of Mark Twain and his first profession as a team boat pilot. Due to that occasion, Twain discovered his real passion on writing.
As we arrived at the Visitor Center, we met our tour guide, Cheryl Messenger, for the pre-service teacher program at the cave. She started the section with a demonstration watersheds. We placed our hands in front of us, palm faced up, while Cheryl sprayed water on our hands; thereby, some water spilled out of our hands through cracks between fingers, and some stayed in our palms creating a pool.
After the activity, Cheryl introduced the two models of karst and non-karst lands. Then she asked for two volunteers to hold the models and another two to pour water into those. Prior to pouring water into the models, Cheryl asked the rest of the audience to clap the tables, their hands in order to create thunderstorm noises.
In addition to those activities, Ms. Messenger demonstrated the formation of cave by using sugar cubes covered with clay on the outside. Then she asked us to drop those clays into opened-lid water containers. Sugar cubes gradually collapsed in water and eventually dissolved in water. After that activity, she talked about the formation of the Mammoth Cave as well as its history. Before we had lunch, we took some CDs and reading material from the workshop.
When lunch was over, we headed to the exhibition in the Visitor Center. Ms. Messenger gave us a quick tour around. Quickly after, we began the Domes and Dripstones tour with an awesome and funny tour guide named Joe. We walked through a short passage of the Cave. After the tour, we went back to the Visitor Center and discussed about our day. We all agreed that the models from the morning would work very well in middle and high school settings. We also came up with several ideas on our own modules.
After the discussion, we went to the campground to prepare dinner. We all worked together to cook dinner. Euvelisse made a delicious dish. Later, we built a fire and had many great conversations with marshmallow and dark chocolate while enjoying a beautiful weather.
An educational and adventurous day ended when our vans arrived at Days Inn. Even though we were all very tired, we felt a sense of accomplishment and happiness of each other ‘s company.