The extinct came alive when sixth-grade students ventured to Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. This overnight trip is an extension of ESD’s Earth Science and Outdoor Education curriculum.
Generations of ESD students have been camping at Dino Valley with Mr. Eddie Eason, Director of Outdoor Education, and various faculty since the 1980s. This overnight trip introduces students to tent camping, hiking, and food preparation. In addition, students participate in team-building activities and journal about their experiences.
“Our Outdoor Education program has always been mission- and tenet-driven,” said Mr. Eason. “All of our trips have curriculum, community-building, and faith-based components. It’s our school crest* in action.”
In support of the sixth-grade earth science curriculum and their focus on geology and fossils, students hike the state park, home to some of the most complete fossils in North America.
Students had the privilege of learning from Dr. Ron Tykoski, Paleontologist and Vice President of Science and Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Dr. Tykoski spoke about the land’s geology, the significance of the tracks, and the type of dinosaur that would have left them. To study size and scale, Dr. Tykoski showed students a mold of a femur bone from the kind of dinosaur that would have produced the prints. As an extra special treat, Dr. Tykoski brought an actual dinosaur bone!
Back at the campsite, students pitched tents and learned to cook in the wilderness. All enjoyed fajitas and s’mores around the campfire, but the connections made with one another were the true highlight of the trip.
*The ESD Crest depicts three crosses signifying our Founding Tenets of religio, daily worship; eruditio, scholarship; and disciplina, training within a community of learners which direct our mission of igniting lives of purpose through the development of an educated conscience.