Post Falls field trip at Green Bluff – student reflections and photos!

We had a great day yesterday at Green Bluff visiting McGlade’s orchard and Strawberry Hill Nutrition Farm. Jerry and Verne were amazing tour guides, helping Post Falls students make the connection between water resources, agriculture and genetics! Students, see below for the reflection questions and provide your answers in the comments. 2014-11-13 10.51.21 2014-11-13 09.26.59 HDR 2014-11-13 11.49.23 HDR 2014-11-13 11.59.11IMG_0155IMG_0212IMG_0152

  1. In what ways was today’s field experience similar to learning experiences you have in school? In what ways was it different?
  2. How do you feel right now? Compare these feelings with those that you have after completing a typical science class at school.
  3. What was the most interesting thing you learned today and why?
  4. Did the trip today spark any ideas for you about your Water Summit project? Please explain.
  5. Provide some commentary on how today’s experience has influenced your personal viewpoint on how agriculture works and how it is connected to water resources.
  6. In our effort to show how biology intertwines with English, we had you take photos that represented #war, #reproduction and #death. Email your photos with a short description to so that Audrey can make a new blog post with all of your amazing photography and metaphors.



11 thoughts on “Post Falls field trip at Green Bluff – student reflections and photos!

  1. 1.) In school we are able to look at data and apply that data to our studies to help us learn, but on the trip we were able to collect the data for ourselves and test it hands on. By doing this we can understand the concepts we are learning from the data better because we were able to see how it works.
    2.) The one feeling most people felt was definitely cold, but one feeling particularly is more interested. Being on the trip kept me more engaged and more interested in how the systems work. This is different from a normal class because I usually do the work to get a grade and am not typically interested, and being there in action I was able to connect our learnings with real life problems.
    3.) One of the interesting things that I learned today was how the quality of the plant depends deeply on the soil quality. The healthier the soil the healthier the plant will be.
    4.) The trip did not spark any immediate ideas, but it did help me get more ideas on water problems.
    5.) I learned that how the farming is done affects the result of the harvest. The many different methods of farming result in many different results in the produce. This connects to water resources in the many different ways farmers use to water their crops. One particular way that we were able to see was the drip water on the apple trees. We could see how none of the water was wasted because it was headed straight to the source needed.

  2. 1.) In school, we are testing an experiment. On the trip, we are out in the real world gathering samples from places we would actually visit.
    2.) I feel good; this trip was fun. Class is okay. You’re definitely not bored, but actually being able to do stuff instead of sit in a desk is definitely an improvement. It was freezing though.
    3.) You don’t need pesticides to get rid of pests, just plants that are compatible together. An example was planting basil plants next to tomatoes to keep the pests away.
    4.) A project that is based off plants.
    5.) You don’t need pesticides to get rid of bugs. Organic is the way to go. It keeps the soil and water in good condition. Farmers use drip irrigation to fully use the water to help without wasting it.

  3. 1) Today’s learning experience was similar to learning experiences in school, in the way that we listened to someone present information to us. What made it different and more exciting, though, was that it was outside, and it involved hands-on work, rather than unexciting paperwork.
    2) Right after the field trip, I felt clear-minded and awake, compared to tired with a fried-brain. Since I learned the material in a hands-on way, it was easier to understand the concepts, and it was less complicated. Because of this, I felt happier about learning and more interested.
    3) The most interesting thing I learned today was probably about how the soil affects the plants. I didn’t realize that the health-state of the plants depends on the health-state of the soil, meaning that unhealthy soil will be the main factor in the cause of an unhealthy plant.
    4) I didn’t really gain any ideas for my Water Summit project, but I did learn more than I already knew. Because lots of the information I learned had to do with water, that can help me in the future with my project.
    5) There are a couple things I learned from this field trip that help me understand how agriculture works and how it is connected with water resources. I didn’t realize that the way you water affects the outcome of the crops. For example, Jerry told us that his peaches have a better, indescribable taste to them when he waters them with the drip system, compared to the sprinklers. Also, I didn’t know that the seeds of an apple are a cross-bread of whatever pollen pollinated them. This means that many apples are eventually a cross of many different apples, with small amounts of traits from each. Lastly, at the vegetable farm I learned that some plants just don’t grow well in certain areas. For example, that farmer had only one type of strawberries that were able to grow efficiently there.

    Overall, I learned lots from this field trip, and had lots of fun. 🙂

  4. 1.) This field trip was similar to learning experiences in school because we are gathering data and we experiment then expand on the idea. It was different because this was real life and we are experimenting with real samples not just “simulations.”
    2.) After the field trip I felt, aside from the cold, more interested in agriculture and farming. This is different because in class, sitting at a desk can get a little boring and sometimes my goal is to just finish the assignment, where the field trip left me interested in the topic.
    3.) The most interesting thing I learned today was from the organic vegetable farm. You do not need pesticides to keep bugs off of plants. Simply placing certain plants near another can get rid of bugs. Such as placing lettuce plants near onions; bugs that love lettuce hate the onions so they won’t go near the plants.
    4.) This trip did not give me an immediate ideas for my Water Summit project, but now I might connect it to agriculture.
    5.) I now understand how specific the soil must be in nutrients in order to go certain crops and how the soil alone can make an enormous difference in the quality of the plant. We also got to see how the farmers used drip irrigation in order to not waste water, and the drip irrigation was directed directly to the plant and nothing else.

  5. 1. It was similar because we took samples, and there was a lot of talking like a class lesson. It was cool to go out and take samples and relate it to real-life instead of a simulation.
    2. I was tired, but I learned a lot. In school, I’m less excited to complete a task in a lesson than on a field trip.
    3. Verne talked about how the plants turn to cannibals when they need nutrients from their bottom leaves for their fruit and blossoms. He related it to women when they’re pregnant, because their bodies main focus is to keep the baby alive, like a plant’s focus is to keep their fruit alive.
    4. I could maybe do a project on how water erosion affects organic soil compared to non-organic soil.
    5. Agriculture is a lot more related to science than I thought it was. It takes a lot of knowledge to be a successful farmer. The plants take so much water, so it’s important to have a bounty of good quality water.

  6. 1.) In our class we are able to read and understand data, but in our field experience we were able to gather data and begin to become scientific in our studies.
    2.) Right after our field trip I felt excited and felt as though I had been very productive. After our typical class at school I am grateful to be able to give my brain a rest and focus on other things in my life besides my school work.
    3.) The most interesting thing that I learned on the field trip was that when some apples our cross pollinated they do not create the same apples or a form of apples from those two apples.
    4.) This was a very informational field trip and I may want to use the idea of organic farming in my project for the Youth Water Summit.
    5.) I now have a greater respect for farmers and the work that they do to make our food healthy and satisfying. The different ways that can be used for watering plants in agriculture are very interesting because there are so many.

    • 1. Today we were able to execute hands-on learning. Classroom work is based on videos, lectures, and book work, but when we take field trips we are able to put the materials we are learning to actual life situations.
      2. After the field trip, I felt excited about what I had learned throughout the day. I understood the concepts in greater detail. After a normal day of science class, I am usually ready for school to be over. I do not feel as much of the want to learn as I do when we go on our field trips.
      3. The most interesting thing I learned was that even though the honey crisp apple trees needed calcium, they were insufficient in supplying it themselves. Because of this, the farmers have to spray the trees with calcium.
      4. Organic Farming is an idea that had not crossed my mind before. This may help me for the Water Summit project.
      5. Now I realize how much effort farmers have to put into maintaining their crops. The man at Greenbluff explained how he had previously fallen off a tree and gotten a concussion.

  7. 1. This experiment was similar to lab days in school for a couple of reasons. One reason being that somebody told us about what we were doing and why. Another was that we were working in groups and could ask question. However, this was different than learning in a classroom setting because, we were actually doing a lab that matters. It was not just so we could learn something, but so we could give our data away to people who need it. Another reason this was different was because when we were taking soil samples they were real, not just soil bought from a store. All in all, I learn a lot more when I am doing stuff that is worth more than a grade.
    2. Right after doing these labs and participating in the tours I feel like I actually learned something. It was not just a day in class. And I am more interested in the soils in the ground and the water amount being presented to our plants.
    3. The most interesting thing I learned on this field trip was that not all soil is the same. And it takes less than 10 minutes for the water system to release more than 50 gallons of water onto a tree or plant. I also learned the differences between organic and not.
    4. Though this trip was very informative and I learned a lot, I do not think I will use the main idea for my Water Summit Project, but I am thinking of using some of the information I learned and incorporate it into my project!
    5. After this field trip, I now know how much work farmers actually put into their farms and that agriculture is really important to the states. I also now know that organic foods are healthier not just for the body but for the mind. I never realized how bad un-organic foods are until this trip.

    Thank you to everyone who made this trip possible!! I really did learn a lot!

  8. 1. On the field trip, we were very involved in the learning experience and it was very hands-on, but in the classroom, normally we learn through research and small labs.
    2. Right after the field trip, I was happy but very tired. I had a lot of fun on the field trip and would definitely do it again. After a normal class, I am ready to leave and move on with the day.
    3. The organic farming techniques from the vegetable farm was most interesting to me because it showed that pesticides and chemicals actually just degrade the plant and soil.
    4. Organic farming techniques to increase water and soil quality which is also better for the environment and healthier for us.
    5. Without chemicals and pesticides, plants produce better, and soil and water quality are maintained and improve the harvests for the following years.

  9. 1. It was similar in the way that kids are usually told. It was different because we did not take notes, and we were outside of school, which is a nice change.
    2. We feel cold, at least the classroom is warm
    3. I found that the cross-pollenation very interesting. Especially the University of Michigan cross bred 1000 trees.
    4. It may have sparked a few ideas. The project for the summit might be ag-related, creek-related, or Mountain-related
    5. I have gained a lot more respect for what the farmers do. naturally and artificially based.

  10. It was a beautiful, sunny, “crisp” day on the farms. The farmers on both farms were surprisingly detailed about the management of their farm. I don’t know why I would have thought otherwise; perhaps I had a stereotype of a farmer in mind. Clearly, these guys were very scientific which reinforced all the emphasis we place on kids in lab.
    I felt rejuvenated by the sun, the animals, the ability to look out at the horizon and not get blocked by gray walls.
    I learned that these field trips can be multidisciplinary as we made an impromptu game for photojournaling symbols of death, reproduction and war similar to symbolism discussed in their other class.
    I could easily see using the bioassay for water quality model/testing for the water summit.
    Agriculture is vital, and I am even further motivated to find a way to bring more of agriculture education to our school and with it comes water quality, efficient use of water resources, and water quantity availability.
    I didn’t get a chance to take pictures, but if I would have: a smile on a kid’s face = the opposite of death. To get these kids out means life to education.

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