Learning / Lower School

Outdoor Education


Fourth Grade Outdoor Education

Fourth Grade Outdoor Education 2019

In June 2019, fourth graders went across state and “back in time” for outdoor education at the Sierra Outdoor School. Instructors dressed in historically inspired clothing led students on tours through an old Gold Rush town and gave lessons in the first two-story, brick schoolhouse in California. Students experienced the pre-Gold Rush material culture of the Me-Wuk people and searched for gold using rockers, long toms, and gold pans. Chaperone Larissa Hsia-Wong ’99 shared, “We had an awesome time learning about raptors, star gazing, learning how to use compasses, building survival shelters, making arrowheads, and exploring the old mining town of Columbia!”

Fifth Grade Outdoor Education — Age of Sail

In the fifth grade, as part of a unit of early exploration study, students experience life on a ship in 1906 right after the San Francisco earthquake. This overnight trip takes place on the Balclutha, a three-mast, steel-hull ship that was built to carry cargo all over the world. Part of the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the Balclutha stays docked during the fifth graders’ overnight trip at sea. Students are divided into separate crews and are responsible for tasks such as cooking, knot tying, block and tackle rigging and many other authentic duties required aboard a ship. The objective of the trip is to reinforce the importance of teamwork, responsibility and cooperative learning skills.