Friday Journal

Trip Summary by: Alec Alberts, RC Christiansen, Robert Jahnke, Theo Jahnke, Derek McCallson,
Nick Nori, Cole Thomas, Justin Thomas, and Mitchell Westerberg

Trip Comments by all of the 8th grade students, parent chaperones, college students and trip leaders!

group leaving Hot Springs
Group Leaving Hot Springs

Day 1
 We had a little bit of trouble on the first day. First, when we went to the wind towers we couldn’t go into the tower because it was closed for repairs. Wind towers located on Buffalo Ridge because there was a lot of wind there because of the large ridge created by a glacier. The second bummer was at pipestone we couldn’t go on to the normal trail because they were burning the prairie. At Pipestone we were still able to see pipestone, quarries, quartzite, cross-bedding, and what that means in geologic and Native American history. Our last geologic stop was at Devils Gulch. We got to see Quartzite, a metamorphic rock.  

On day 2 we went to the badlands and did a group investigation. We had to come up with a question to investigate. We than had to try and figure out the answer to the question by making an experiment and collecting data. With the data we collected we could make conclusions on our topic. We did a presentation in front of the class about what we found out. THE BADLANDS WERE HOT. After the badlands we went to the buffalo grasslands were we collected rocks of all sorts after we were done collecting rocks we had the choice to either sit and collect more rocks or………… slide down a rock hill. Ya, it was fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 3
On day 3 we started out and went to Devils Tower. That was a lot of FUN! While we were at Devils Tower we learned how it was formed. Devils Tower used to be to be like 1 ½ miles under the earth and was an ancient magma chamber. The rocks which make Devils Tower are igneous but a strange thing is that the valley rocks where sedimentary which is a very weak rock, which erodes very easy, unlike igneous. That sedimentary rock has eroded away and now we can see Devils tower. Another stop we made wasn’t much of a stop it was spearfish canyon. The reason we say it wasn’t much of a stop because we never stopped we just drove through it and made some observations. It was still very neat place and we saw much wildlife as well. The last stop we made was at Mt. Rushmore.  We took a lot of pictures and observed the 4 HUGE heads. Mt Rushmore had interesting rock of igneous and metamorphic right next to each other. And that wraps up our day 3.

Day 4
On day 4 we started off at Wind Cave. We walked through the cave for about half a mile, but the caves have over 130 miles of tunnel. This was for most of the time downhill through the caves. It ended up to be 20 stories underground. Now that name wind cave doesn’t mean that it’s actually windy - in fact you couldn’t feel any wind while walking through the cave. After that we went and learned by coming up with observations outside the cave and inside. We came up with a good explanation on how it was formed it had water seep into the cracks of the limestone which allowed the water to expand the rock when it froze. Then the water eventually broke away the rock. It did this until it had a good passage way for it to flow through. There are hundreds of these passage ways some big some small they go up, down, and left, to right. This was very interesting and everyone thought that it was a totally blast learning about our earth. Then we went to the dinosaur museum, where we had to do observations and compare different bones. We also got to meet the finder, Neal, of the bones and we even got to see the fossilized skin of the dinosaur. We went swimming at the Hot Springs (NOT hot) actually they were really cold but it was fun. We went back and had supper and had a great last night. Some of the students slept outside under the stars and did much sky watching. There were many falling stars observed as well as other interesting stuff.

Day 5
Today we are just spending the entire time driving back to Parkers Prairie. Many students are tired and sleeping.

Individual Trip Comments

Trip Leaders:

When Peter Whelan and I first began this trip in 2003, we had no idea of the impact it would have on not only students, but ourselves. Though Peter passed on in 2004, the legacy of this trip has continued because of the impact that it has on individuals. Though some will walk away from the trip seemingly unchanged, most will realize it has had a profound effect on them - one that reaches to the depths of their soul in ways that are nearly unexplainable.

As students (8th grade or college), chaperones, and bus drivers, I would like you to take some time to explore those effects. Most of you learned that you had talents beyond what you had formerly thought possible. Those talents may be in geology, or getting along with others – when maybe you didn’t think you could, or figuring out complex ideas, or camping and being away from home for perhaps the first time. Many of you showed great knowledge and ability that has not been evident in the “normal” school environment. If for this alone, the trip is worth all of the effort that goes into its development. Realize that school, or friends, or apparent shortcomings, do not define your limits. Realize that family grows not only from those who surround you at home, but in the larger sense of those who enveloped you this past week. Although the trip has ended in one sense, the journey continues and we will all be there with you and for you – no matter where the Garmin takes us!
~Marlene Schoeneck

I am always amazed at how, and how much, students learn during a field investigation like this.  When the geology is constant and in direct context to student learning, the questions are fast and furious and the learning is “real”.  Congratulations to Mrs. Schoeneck for another successful outdoor classroom experience for Parkers Prairie students.  Thanks for inviting me along. 
~ Lee Schmitt

College Students:
Wow what a great week!!! Thank you Marlene for dedicating your time to teach the way teaching should be, in the field. I cannot explain how rewarding it is to come on this trip and help students and witness students discover stuff they have been learning throughout the semester. In all classes you learn in school but very rarely have a great understanding until you can use that knowledge in context. On this trip students are able to discover real geology for themselves and I personally think it is awesome. I hope that one day I can be a teacher like you. Thank you Lee for helping with the trip, caring as much as you do, and helping Marlene strengthen her inquiry niche. Lastly, I would like to thank all of the students for allowing me to come with and share my knowledge with you. You all had a great week and I know that you gained more Knowledge, Skills, and Understandings about geology as well as life in this week investigation trip than you ever could back home in typical school. Be thankful, NO other public schools in Minnesota or the nation are able to have this kind of experience. IT IS VERY SPECIAL!!
~Patrick Schuette (MSUM Earth Science & Life Science Education Major)

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have been part of this experience again.   The magic of this trip cannot truly be explained using words -  it’s an experience like none other, and it is surely something the students will never forget.  I was very impressed throughout the week by the maturity, intelligence, curiosity, and humor of the Parkers Prairie 8th grade class.  I wish I could have gotten the opportunity to know them even better.  Thank you, Mrs. Schoeneck, for being so encouraging and giving these students the rare opportunity to do field work. You are a role model for me in my future career as a science teacher.   ~Barbara Michel (MSUM Life Science Education Major)

Yet again another year and another great trip! Thanks for the great trip and wonderful experience. Mrs. Schoeneck is the best! ~Sam Hemmerlin (College Student)

I want to thank you for allowing me to join in on such a great experience. Being around the kids and working with them to discover and see things with a deeper understanding and new perspective is something I will never forget. I appreciate everything you have done. ~Kandy Ahlers (College Student)

This has been an incredible learning experience. I have enjoyed inquiring with the students about Earth Science. Thank you for giving me the opportunity, it has been a rewarding experience.
~Avery Cota (college Student)

Parent Chaperones:
What a wonderful experience for these kids to have the opportunity to travel and explore the geology and landscapes of the Badlands and Black Hills!  To be able to see, touch and feel the differences between the different rocks and ground surfaces of the world that we live in today that are thousands of years old!  What Mother Nature has left us to explore and learn!  They were able to experience first-hand what many people have not, nor will ever be able to experience in a lifetime.  This whole trip is about science, but it is also a wonderful opportunity for all the kids to work together, build friendships and be able to work as a team.

We had wonderful tours and awesome tour guides with excellent knowledge that would knock your socks off!  But most of all, this was a well-balanced trip that the kids and we chaperones will NEVER FORGET!  Thanks so much Mrs.  Schoeneck and everyone who was involved and supported this incredible trip!  We are so excited and fortunate to be a part of this experience!

P.S. All the kids were incredible and you as parents should be proud!
~ Don Koep and Andrea Meissner (Chaperones)

I learned a lot more than I thought I knew. It was a joy to share the knowledge I have on a variety of things. It was a joy to see the “light” come on in the faces of the kids.
 ~Charlie Jahnke (Chaperone)

I wanted to let you know what a great time I had. I got to learn a lot of things, plus spend time with my boy (who is growing too fast), meet his classmates, and hopefully started new friendships with some of them. They are a great bunch of young men and women. They showed that they can work together and still have fun. I got to meet one young adult and have a very down to earth talk and see the world through their eyes.

Any parent who has the chance to go on this trip should. I am very glad that you asked me to go along. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I hope this program continues, because they are also learning history, some math and English and they don’t even know it. Maybe someday the chance will come again for me to go along again. Thanks again.
~Jeff Arnold

This trip was amazing. The kids all learned so much and we able to experience learning in a different way. This trip got them out of the classroom and out in the world, to learn things that can't be taught by sitting in a desk. Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck, for putting this together for these kids. The kids will always remember this trip! I learned so much about the class and was able to get to know the kids in this class. I feel very lucky that I was able to go on this trip. I will always remember this trip. All of the parents should be proud of their kids. They were great!
~Laura Shircliff

8th Grade Students:

I believe the trip was the most fun I have ever had with school. I learned so much I think my BRAIN grew 3 inches in diameter. ~Dyllon Kelm

Funnest Field trip I ever had. I learned so much during these 5 days. Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck.              
~Josh Johnson

Funniest, Funnest and the most learning field trip that I have ever been on and I learned so much about geology. ~Theo Jahnke

I had the best year because we found lot of quartz and learned about bones and lots of stuff.
~Robert Jahnke

I loved everything, but I can’t pick a favorite. ~Hunter Arnold

I loved everything on the trip. It was fun seeing all the stuff I have never seen before.  
~Dakotah Revering


It was really cool and I had a lot of sun. ~Justin Thomas

This trip was awesome it changed my mind a whole lot about SCIENCE. I know I like science a lot!            
~Mark Hewitt

This was EXTREMELY fun. ~Nick N

I liked collecting agates & petrified wood at the grasslands. ~Madison

I had an awesome time looking for agates and seeing agates at the museum. I also loved sleeping at night J      ~Brenna Mae

This trip was so much fun. I had a great time looking for rocks and just being at the Badlands. I also had a great time at Devils Tower even though it was snowing.           ~Amelia Hager

We got out of school so we weren’t in class making more fun. ~Cole

I got to see a lot of places I have always wanted to see. ~Brit S.

I love all the fun and smiles on the whole trip J. ~Brittany M.

I got to see a lot of places. I have always wanted to see. ~Mitch

Got to hang out with a really cool college kid, (Pat) and all the other college students. ~R.C.

I had so much fun hanging out with my friends/college students. I learned so much about South Dakota that I never knew before. ~Derek

I had lots of fun and it was very interesting. ~Ty

I had so much fun. It was a 1 in a life time chance for me. ~Jason

This trip was pretty amazing! Its an opportunity to spend time with all your buds & learn about science. Thanks Mrs. Schoeneck.  ~Brianna

I had a great time and learned a lot about geology. Thanks SO much Mrs. Schoeneck. ~Becky

I had a lot of fun. I wish I could go again.  ~Zac Schluter

It was fun going to all the cool places. Thanks Mrs. Schoeneck. ~Danny Aldrich

I learned that geology can be fun and painful depending on where you stand. ~Shawn

This trip was awesome. I wish I could do it again. Best Trip Ever. ~Zack Saxton

Devils Tower was like a cork that plugged a volcano. ~Brandon G

Great Trip!!! ~Tyler S

It was an amazing experience, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity Mrs. Schoeneck        ~LeDeanna S

I had a lot of fun learning all this cool and interesting stuff about all these neat places, and how long they took to form, and how they formed. Thanks Mrs. Schoeneck for setting this all up and showing us it upfront in person. ~Molly Miller

Thank you so much for bringing us to South Dakota. It was so much fun and thank you for everything that you have done to get this trip together. So thank you very much. ~Love Taylor S

Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck it has been an amazing trip. Thank you for everything its been great. ~Courtney D

Thank you for everything Mrs. Schoeneck! This has been SOOOOOOO much fun and I have learned SO much! ~Ally T

Thank you a lot for everything it’s been a blast. I have learned a lot.  Thanks again. ~Dylan M

This trip was great. I loved every bit of it. I really did learn a lot, about geology and people – stuff that would never be able to happen if you didn’t trust and care for us… Thank you. ~Dominic B

This trip has been amazing! I will never forget all of the amazing times I had here with my friends and the places we went. Mrs. Schoeneck had to put up with all us crazy 8th graders and for that we are grateful. Thank you SO much, ~Dana W

This past week has been the most fun I have ever had! I learned a lot and had so much fun. I’m so happy we had this opportunity to bond as a class. So thank you so much Mrs. Schoeneck for dealing with all us crazy 8th graders for a week! I’m sooo thankful! ~Mackenzie T

 Thank you so much for everything you have done for us this week Mrs. Schoeneck! And thank you Chaperones for coming with and helping us learn so much this week! This week was so much fun and I will never forget it! ~Shelby W

Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck and all the chaperones it was an amazing life changing experience and it is great that you are able to do this. ~Alec A

Thanks for the trip and for the sites. ~ A.J.

Thanks for the Awesome trip and all the places we could go.  It was sweet. ~Trent

This week was awesome! I had so much fun while learning. I will never forget it. Thank you Mrs. Schoeneck for working so hard to put this trip on and thank you to everyone else. ~Ellen D