AP environmental science class embarks on field trip

Class gained hands on experience at Konza Prairie Biological Station


Owen Musser

Students walk through the Konza Prairie Biological Station.

By Perrin Goulter, Reporter

The 2020-2021 school year was marked by the fact that students worldwide were stuck inside and forced to interact with school from a distance, this obviously limited the opportunities for learning that takes place outside of the classroom.

Ms. Ball’s AP Environmental Science class breaks this trend by embarking on a block-day trip to the Konza Prairie Biological Station. Students from the class thoroughly enjoyed the hands-on experience and being able to reconnect with learning in a way that hasn’t been accessed for well over a year.

 Junior Natalie Kennedy was a participant on this trip and reflects on the trip fondly.

“We learned about a bunch of different types of grasses that I had never really seen before and we also got to see the bison from super far away,” Kennedy said. “Also I had never seen a true prairie that wasn’t mowed over so it was cool to see.” 

Kennedy views the trip as a good marker of what the rest of the year may have to offer.

“It feels like a good science class and much more hands-on than it would’ve been during COVID,” Kennedy said.

Not only does she believe that the trip reflects on how her experience in class will be, Kennedy thinks that this trip sets a good precedent for future trips as well.

“They definitely will overcome the pandemic,” Kennedy said. “We did it pretty safely with masks and everything, I would say staying outside and keeping small groups will work best.”

Senior Hunter Girard shares similar sentiments.

“This field trip shows that it is truly getting better because it shows that there is more freedom. We got to do more stuff while wearing masks but didn’t have to stay six feet apart. There were still plenty of precautionary measures for COVID but as more people have been getting vaccinated things seem to be getting better, at least for the time being,” Girard said. “I feel that field trips are becoming more natural and returning to how they used to be.”

When compared to last year, Girard feels that these trips signal a step in the right direction.

“Field trips were more like labs and got canceled because COVID made them difficult to do so they got canceled or they were severely limited and ended up taking place at school,” Girard said. “Getting to go out to other places is far more preferable.”

He also believes that this trip calls back to times that were more normal.

“This was definitely bringing back the same vibes from previous years where we just got to go out and see things outside of school without having to go through sports or other activities,” Girard said.

Junior Maelee Folks shares some solutions that may help these trips have the capacity to continue further into the year.

“Right now field trips that are outside will be important to have them continue,” Folks said. “The prairie was all outside and on the bus we obviously had to wear our masks.”

Much like her fellow students, Folks also enjoys the familiarity that comes with the continuance of a traditional school experience.

“Going on a field trip this early and even being back in school has made things seem a bit more normal,” Folks said. “Even though they don’t happen very often they are something that feels recognizable especially after last year.”