Teri Hoffman's 6th Grade Class prepares for Chevron-sponsored litter patrol down Swanson River Road in Sterling.
For the last seven years, Teri Hoffman’s sixth grade class at Sterling Elementary School has been exchanging litter patrol services along Swanson River Road for field trip funding from Chevron (formerly Unocal). Hoffman says it started with the focus on giving back to the community and furthering her science curriculum. “Cleaning up litter along Swanson River Road is our end of the deal and Chevron helps make the science field trip possible,” explained Hoffman. Chevron has continued to fund Hoffman’s request as a unique way of reaching a group of young people interested in science.
In the past the fieldtrips have been to Otter Cove, but this year Hoffman’s class visited the laboratory at Kasisna Bay. “Otter Cove is no longer doing their science program so we decided to use the facilities at the Kasisna Bay research lab this year,” Hoffman told the Dispatch. According to Hoffman the fieldtrip is an excellent spring board that increases a student’s interest in upper level science curriculums. The field trips have been so effective that Hoffman has written a field trip curriculum. “Being that this is my seventh [year] I’ve learned a lot from the scientists that we’ve worked with over in Otter Cove and that helped me write my own curriculum. I’m looking forward to the Kasisna Bay trip this year because there are always new things to learn and room for further education,” said Hoffman.
The annual event is also done in cooperation with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge and covers the 1.7 mile strip of the Swanson River Road. up to the gas fields. The students were looking forward to being out of the classroom, even if it was to pick up trash, “This is pretty cool. We get hot dogs afterward and you don’t have to study to pick up trash, but it sure would be easier if people would keep their trash in their cars,” commented Mitchell. “We’ve been studying marine biology to get ready for the trip to Kasisna Bay,” added Kayla. It was a great day to be outside at Sterling Elementary School, even if it was to pick up trash.
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