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Students travel to Southwest for educational excursion

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 10, 2011

 A group of Grosse Pointe North and South students spent five days earlier this summer in Arizona on an educational field trip.

A group of Grosse Pointe North and South students spent five days earlier this summer in Arizona on an educational field trip.

GROSSE POINTES — Tina Simon called a summer field trip to the Southwest that she chaperoned a “trip of a lifetime.”

Simon and her son Drew were part of a group of Grosse Pointe North and South high school students who traveled to the Southwest on an educational field trip earlier this summer.

When the students get back to school and are asked about their summer vacation, they can tell their classmates about how they went white-water rafting down the Colorado River, hiked the Grand Canyon and explored a little piece of space.

“We rafted the Colorado River, mountain biked in Sedona, explored the Petrified Forest, hiked the Grand Canyon and looked through telescopes, just to mention a few things,” Grosse Pointe South science teacher Lisa Bouda said.

Earth science students at both schools were invited to take part in the field trip.

“I’m already starting to work on next year’s (trip),” Bouda said. “It’s great to have the kids see Earth science out there in the real world.”

The group of about a dozen students spent five days in Arizona learning about Earth science and astronomy.

Teachers worked through a company that provides these types of educational excursions called Grand Classroom.

“The Arizona trip was packed with events and well organized by the honors Earth science teachers Lisa Bouda and Ardis Herrold and The Grand Classroom tours,” Simon said. The students “from the two high schools were a nice group of teenagers that became good friends. The trip was loaded with physical, educational and social activities.”

Simon listed a number of the activities that the students participated in like visiting Arizona State University’s Mars Education Program center, Montezuma Well, the Lowell Observatory and Petrified Forest National Park.

“We hiked into the Grand Canyon from the south rim,” Simon said. “It was magnificent.”

She also emphasized the learning and fun that the students experienced at the university’s Mars program.

“The group was also given a special tour of the university’s space/meteor specimen collection,” Simon said. “They were able to hold moon rocks and see a large varied collection of rare items from space.”