Friday Journal

Journal Crew: BreAnna Johanson, Cody Johanson, Sara Dickinson, Katie Laudenbach, Heather Pullins, Natalie Thoennes





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This week our 8th grade class went on the South Dakota trip. On Monday we went and saw the Wind Generator farm. We found out that one wind generator lights up 500 houses in the speed of light. We also went to Pipestone National Park, where we learned about cross-bedding. Our last stop Monday was Devil’s Gulch, where we learned about erosion from rivers. We camped at Mitchell, KOA.


On Tuesday we packed up and left in the rain for the Chamberlain rest stop. We looked at how the river valley formed. After that we went to Badlands National Park, where we figured out how the formations formed, and also tested soils and presented in front of our grade. After that we went to the Buffalo National Grasslands, where we collected rocks and agates, and also slid down hills. That night we camped at Badlands, KOA.


Wednesday we went to Devil’s Tower by going through the Black Hills. At Devil’s Tower we had to work with our groups and figure out how it was formed, which was by huge intrusion of magma and erosion of the overlying sedimentary rock. After Devil’s Tower we drove to the Homestake Gold Mine in Lead, South Dakota, and then we headed out to Mount Rushmore. The Presidents looked like they were crying because it was raining again all day. We were going to set up our tents at Hot Springs, KOA, but we got there late and it was raining, so we slept in cabins!


Thursday we went to Wind Cave National Park. We also learned how the cave formed. Its 128 miles long, and the 4th longest cave in the world. They only think they’ve mapped 10% of the cave. After Wind Cave we went to the Black Hill Geology Research Institute, where we talked to Neal Larson about dinosaur fossils. The museum has the world’s largest shark tooth in it. Neal also found two of the most complete T. Rex fossil skeletons. After the museum,  about half of our grade went to the hot springs (which aren’t so hot) to swim.


Today, Friday, we left our campsite at 8, and we’re now on a very long bus ride back to Parkers. A lot of us are sleeping, and we only get 3 rest stops. We watched Uncle Dave and Mrs. Schoeneck go down the slide at the park when we ate lunch.  We also sang karaoke songs and Uncle Dave sang to us, also.  (See our video clip of Uncle Dave!) The week was amazing and we’ll never forget the trip!


Comments from the Travelers



This was a great trip. It was a way for students to get out and learn different ways. –Katherine W.


The trip was an awesome way to learn more about South Dakota’s landforms and how they formed and more about other classmates. –Eloise W.


This was so much fun, seeing Devil’s Tower, the Black Hills, and Wind Cave was awesome. –AJ H.


Coming on a trip like this is a privilege that I took advantage of. We saw some beautiful things, and some that makes me NOT want to come back to a certain spot again! But overall it was exciting and amazing. Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck! :)


I liked the cave. Last night I had a good time sleeping outside. I liked the trip! –Brian S.


This trip was fun, it’s something that I will never forget. –Melany A.


We got to do so many exciting things that many people won’t get the chance to do. This trip was an awesome way to learn outside the classroom! Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck!


The trip was so fun! This was nothing like I have done before. It was fun meeting the college students and just talking with them. Thanks – you’re the best Mrs. Schoeneck. –Amber G.


It was AWESOME!!!! We got to do things we will probably never get another chance to do. We learned so much and this trip actually made science fun. –Dexter P.


The trip went by so fast but it was fun. Thanks for taking your time to take us on this trip. Most kids won’t ever be able to see or do something like that. Thanks to all the college students, too. –Courtney R.


The trip was amazing! It was a once in a lifetime thing. Thanks for taking your time to bring us. –Wyatt S.


This is probably going to be the most memorable trip of my life. Thanks for the opportunity. –Aaron K.


This trip was probably the most fun, because we were with friends and got special tours. I just want to thank you for everything. –Kassidi P.


It was an amazing experience!  I didn’t learn to spell any better but the sites I saw were sweet! This trip was totally worth all the money and time! I love you! –Sara D.


I loved the trip! It was the best… learning stuff, being with our friends, and we weren’t in school (Ha Ha!) No –but,  it was awesome and I had a really good time! P.S. I wish it didn’t rain :( -Natalie T.


This was awesome! The most amazing trip I have ever been on. I wish I could stay longer hehe… I couldn’t thank you enough Mrs. Schoeneck, you are an amazing teacher. Thanks for putting up with us. I will never forget this, it was so fun! Take me again sometime! I love you! –BreAnna J.


This trip is the best thing ever! It gives you a whole new perspective on everything. It makes you think, Why is that there? How did this happen? And it also gives you some of the greatest memories you’ll ever have. It lets you see Devil’s Tower and Mount Rushmore. It lets you experience the trip that some kids dream of.  It teaches you respect, kindness, responsibility, and most importantly, science! Yay! P.S. I’m sneaking on this trip next year. –Cody J.


It was fun going to Hot Springs in the creek. –Michael K.


It was fun going to the Wind Cave and learning all about it, and feeling the wind come in the holes. –Brennan L.


It was fun going swimming. –Anonymous


I had so much fun, but the best memory was when we went to Badlands National Park. Lacey, Kaylee, AJ, Trent H, Melany and I decided to explore the Badlands since we had time to kill, and every time AJ would see a path he would climb it. So it ended up with everyone saying “AJ, there’s a path!” (It’s an inside joke!) The trip was a life time experience. –Kristy F.


This was the bomb diggety freshest trip ever! It makes it even that much more fun when your friends are with you. Thanks everyone who helped and donated! –Tamara S.


It was an awesome trip, the best thing I’ve done all year. –Anonymous


I learned so much on this trip, and I actually remembered the things I learned. It was beautiful. I’ll never ever forget it. I think our whole grade has changed in some way. –Katie L.


All I can say is wow!  I’ve never had so much fun at a school activity. It was a lifetime experience. –Heather M.


This trip makes learning fun. You get to see a lot of sites. Whoever doesn’t go on the trip is missing out SO much. You learn a lot of things so, don’t miss this trip! –Gaven S.


I truly enjoyed this trip. It was a challenge for me and I enjoy being challenged. Thank you so much for taking us on the trip. You are very good at setting this trip up. To me it’s unbelievable that you can plan all of this into five days. The food was great. I felt very spoiled with it. The sights are beautiful and I enjoy driving by them and walking by them and also taking pictures of them. I’m excited to tell my parents and family about what I learned. Thank you so much! Kaylee D.


It was a really great experience. Learning new things, and seeing new places. If I could I would come on this trip again. –Cortney W.


It was a great trip and learning experience for all of the kids and adults. –Anonymous


I had a great time on the field trip. I learned a lot from the trip. I really liked the dinosaurs and Mount Rushmore.  Camping out was fun, and the one night we slept in the cabins. –Jason S.


University Students:

It was a great trip. It was a great experience when I was in the 8th grade and I hope all 8th graders can have the experience. Love you Mrs. Schoeneck! –Sam H. (SCSU student)


Each of you is unique, and meeting you has been a tremendous experience. –Jeremy G. (MSUM student)


This trip was no doubt one of the most fun experiences of my life. I learned a lot and it was great seeing students excited about geology. You have an amazing group of students! –Barb M. (MSUM student)


I am so impressed on how you are able to set this trip up and keep it going every year. It is a great trip for the students and I loved watching and being with students as they discovered and learned about science. It’s truly awesome. I hope to come again – and who would have thought geology is fun!? –Pat S. (MSUM student)


This trip is something I will ALWAYS remember and I hope to use what I’ve learned about inquiry-based and hands-on learning in my classroom. Thanks 8th graders! :) –Nicole T. (MSUM student)


Third time’s a charm. I have had a great time once again with a wonderful group of 8th graders. Thank you all for the great memories. I will, as Nicole will, use these experiences in my classroom and future career. Special thanks to all the chaperones, Uncle Dave and Mrs. Schoeneck. This trip would not be possible without you. –Cassie K. aka “Mt. Dew” (MSUM student)



We want to thank the 8th graders for making this trip SO enjoyable. This was an amazing and very educational trip for all of us. This was NOT only a science trip, but an overall educational experience. Such as public speaking, arts, phy ed, choir, grammar, and history. We will definitely continue to help fund the South Dakota trip for our future 8th graders. All the parents should be very proud of their child for the way they presented themselves and represented Parkers Prairie. We can’t forget about the college students, Lee, and Mrs. Schoeneck for doing an amazing job of getting the students to bring out evidence of what they were being taught. Also – thanks to Uncle Dave for the adventure on the cow path near the Badlands. Lastly, we are proud to have chaperoned the Class of 2012!! –Jim and Deone H.


I have chaperoned several other field trips this class has taken, it has really been fun seeing them grow up. This trip was the best! It was a very educational time, done in an enjoyable way. These kids have experienced things they may never experience again. Thank you for the opportunity. I hope to chaperone an 8th grade field trip again. –Kris B


Trip Leaders:

In order to be good stewards of the earth, we have to understand its structure and materials.  The earth is dynamic.  You can’t really understand or appreciate its grandeur and complexity without experiencing geology in the field.  I appreciate this opportunity to help Parkers Prairie 8th graders investigate and ask questions about our earth.  Special thanks to the university students and parents for their great teaching, students for their energy and learning, and especially Mrs. Schoeneck for her dedication and hard work to bring this extraordinary field experience to Parkers Prairie students. – Lee Schmitt



This week has definitely been the “Great Adventure”!  It brought to life many of the earth science concepts that we have only been able to imagine from the classroom.  Plate tectonics, stratigraphy, comparison of fossil structures, wind energy, water erosion and cave formation were all spread out before us in the dynamic story that is earth.  Continue to observe some of those dynamics in the world that is around you daily.  A rock is never just a rock.  How did it form?  How did it get there?


You have learned much about social dynamics, as well.  This trip is about SO much more than earth science!  You have had to get along with a great variety of personalities, cooperated to help make meals, cleaned buses and camp.  You have put your heads together to figure out geologic formations and processes.  What tasks did you do that you would never do at home?  Who did you work with that you normally would not have even talked to back at school? 


This is a good time to stop and think about how you have changed over this past week, as well.  Like the earth, you are a dynamic, changing entity.  What was true about us yesterday may not be true today. What talents did you show this week, that haven’t been evident before in the classroom or at home?  Why did you show confidence in yourself and your abilities that maybe you did not feel before?    This trip has a way of stripping away those limits that we or our friends have formerly put on us.  There is no reason to go back.  Although the trip itself may end, what you have learned from the trip goes on.  Use your strengths and talents to move forward and be the BEST person you can be, the strongest student you can be.  Make reality from your dreams and help others to realize their dreams.  Make the Great Adventure continue in your hearts and minds. – Mrs. Schoeneck


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