BCS Advantage Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 20

A.C. Reynolds Middle School Hands-On Learning: Field trip to Purchase Knob Science Center and Asheville Treetops Adventure Park By Stacia Harris, Communications Department As each school year begins, sixth-graders at A.C. Reynolds Middle School have the opportunity to get to know their new classmates and build important life skills. “There are several elementary schools that come to Reynolds,” said science teacher Jennifer Williams. “This is a great way for students to get to know the new students who’ve come from different schools.” One group of students attends teambuilding workshops and does a challenging ropes course at the Asheville Adventure Park. Walking and climbing through the trees is fun, but students also have to learn to work together and trust each other to complete the course. “Some of the students are afraid of heights, and it’s really amazing to see them help each other work through their nerves and have fun,” Williams said. Meanwhile, another group of sixth-graders ventures to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Purchase Knob. The Appalachian Science Center is perched atop at 5,000 feet. The Science Center houses a small classroom, but the real adventure is in the wooded area nearby. With the help of Ranger April, students get their hands dirty collecting soil and insect samples, then analyzing them under a microscope. “Students learn the best with hands-on experience,” Williams said. “They are applying science and biology to the real world and having fun at the same time.” 18