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Corbett Grade School explores the Missoula Flood evidence


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CORBETT GRADE SCHOOL - Corbett Grade School students visit with Professor Nick Zentner of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., on their recent Missoula Flood evidence field trip.

Corbett Grade School recently loaded up three buses and six motorhomes with 111 children, 46 chaperones, six teachers, a health assistant and Principal DeeDee Hanes, setting out to find evidence of the Missoula Floods.

Corbett Grade holds an emphasis on “place-based education” and its three-day adventures covered more than 700 miles.

“Our hope is that when children have an understanding of where they live, they too will have a curiosity that leads them to go out into the world and discover all of its wonders,” wrote Michelle Dawkins, a Corbett Grade teacher.

On the trip, students met Nick Zentner, a geology professor at Central Washington University who explained that people come from all over the world to visit the area’s special landforms.

Corbett Grade traveled to Frenchmen Coulee for a hike and then off to view West Bar Ripples.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: CORBETT GRADE SCHOOL - The trip included 111 students, 46 chaperones, six students, a health assistant and Principal DeeDee Hanes.

At Grand Coulee Dam, a place that isn’t open to the general public, students were able to see the giant turbines, walk through one of the many tunnels and get a view from the top deck of the dam.

Students received a detailed history of the dam and a request to continue their studies in math and science to become engineers.

Dry Falls was one of the main attractions of the area, once 10 times larger than Niagara Falls and now home to beautiful plunge pools. Students also observed erratics, gulch fillings and giant potholes — more evidence of the floods.

The final leg of the journey took the group through Wallula Gap, an area that once held huge amounts of water that created Lake Lewis.

“People who have an understanding of the place they live tend to want to preserve that place. They feel a part of it and understand the importance of protecting it for future generations,” Dawkins wrote.