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Celebrating River Valley Recreation; Earth, wind and sea
REGION- It was only befitting to feature the eighth graders in the final part of this series that has focused on the recreational and educational activities Mountain Valley Middle School experienced during their last weeks before summer break.
Students spent their final days as middle schoolers hiking Tablerock in Grafton Notch, visiting coastal favorites such as the Portland Headlight and Pine Point, gold panning at Coos Canyon, enjoying a fun day at Mt. Blue State Park and touring the Record Hill wind turbines in Roxbury.
With all of these activities, like the other classes, students were asked to use their experiences to create their own wind chimes, kites, photographic or hand-written journals and to write a short story with illustrations.
Ashlynn Young, wrote her short story, Crabby’s New Beginning, after visiting Portland Headlight.
“It was really cool being able to learn outside of school. It made us think beyond what our books tell us, it gave us real experience.”
Each of the stories, with their vivid colors, their imaginative and descriptive words, were each a work of art. Students were told that a publisher would be contacted in order to possibly turn their literary creations into a published piece of work.
Along with their literary works students created through their language arts class, they also had to incorporate the field trip into science class and that was done by the dissection of a squid.
“At first we were all, like, this is pretty gross,” noted Maddie Kaubrys. “But, then we got into it and it was pretty cool. It smelled a little bad, but not as bad as we thought it would.”
On the day of the unveiling of all of their projects, the eighth grade wing was lined with their editorial works, slideshows of their wind turbine tour, photographic journals of their hike and days spent on the beaches of Webb Lake.
In talking to the students about their trip to Record Hill, they were very eager to share in their experience.
Students noted that their bus had overheated on the way up and while they were sitting there, something strange occurred. They began to experience shadow flicker from the turning of the blades.
“It was weird,” noted Josh Maillet. “We all began to get headaches and not feeling so well. We felt car sick.”
Students learned first hand that the motion of the blades turning and casting a shadow over their bus at certain intervals was causing them to feel something to the effect of motion sickness.
When they returned to school, students were assigned the task of writing about their experience and to state their pros and cons with wind towers. Students who favored the wind towers, agreed that they create jobs, wind is a natural and constant source of energy, their speedy construction compared to gas or coal plants, and they have very little impact on wildlife.
Those students who disagreed, stated their views by way of loss of scenic beauty, high impact on wildlife and the motion sickness they experienced.
Students also had to research and construct their own kites and wind chimes, finding out that building a kite and having it successfully take flight is no easy task. “It was sad,” noted Sydney Petrie. “Ours broke in mid-air. We didn’t really realize exactly how the position of the object is affected by the wind.”
With such an eventful last couple of weeks of school, students agreed that their most favorite part of the journey was the hike up Tablerock in Grafton Notch and the field day at Mt. Blue.
“The hike really tested your limits,” stated Kaubrys. “We needed to step outside our comfort zone when we had to climb the ladders. It was a little intimidating.”
Petrie added, “It made us all work together and help one another. It was a great experience for us all to have together.”
Young stated, “Seeing everyone laughing and smiling at Mt. Blue was great. We have an awesome class and it was nice to spend that time with all of them.”
Eighth grade students throughout the halls on that day were excited for the summer ahead and even more excited for their freshman year. They agreed that they felt ready and were eager to see what it was going to be like.
To read the first three parts of this series, please visit www.rumfordfallstimes.com and search Mountain Valley Middle School.