FSI 8th Grade Field Trip to UNCA

FSI 8th Grade Field Trip to UNCA


8th Grade Field Trip Agenda 12-17-15 UNCA

FSI 8th graders ended the 2015 school year with a rainy day field trip to the University of North Carolina at Asheville.  8th grade teachers Tracy Lynn, Peggy Altman, Courtney Kelly, Erica Adelman designed a day filled with diverse learning experiences, all related to the upcoming Expedition: “Water Is Life!” Even though this was not our official Expedition “kick-off,” the field trip afforded students opportunities to practice each of the FSI Habits of Scholarship: Inquiry, Ethics, Action, Persistence, Collaboration, and Leadership in activities including everything from biotech DNA extraction and analysis to urban-planning and primary source research.

Thanks to FSI community members and local experts for their vision, support, and energy in making this trip possible, especially Caroline Kennedy, who is passionate about sharing science with the world.  Caroline has been a guest expert in biology at FSI now since our doors have been open to students, but it was a treat to visit her on her own UNCA turf in:

Biotechnology Laboratory Zeis Hall 


Other events of the day took place at the following UNCA locations:

Center for Diversity Education- Highsmith University Center


Ramsey Library-Flash Fiction Exercise Ramsey Library

Lunch in the University Quad (Highsmith Center in case of rain***Yes, it rained!)

UNCA Botanical Gardens 


I’m looking forward to seeing what connections FSI students make between this adventure and the up-coming Expedition in 8th grade.  My only regret about the timing was that we had little time to “debrief” and share immediate observations or ask questions, since the field trip was scheduled just before the start of winter break.  I challenge 8th grade students and teachers to reflect, using the “I notice….I wonder….” question framing as we look forward to future learning adventures in 2016.  Please share comments and questions to spark inquiry!

EL schools offer a true choice for parents and students seeking schools where:

  • Learning is active. Students are scientists, urban planners, historians, and activists, investigating real community problems and collaborating with peers to develop creative, actionable solutions.
  • Learning is challenging. Students at all levels are pushed and supported to do more than they think they can. Excellence is expected in the quality of work and thinking.
  • Learning is meaningful. Students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and problems and make positive change in their communities. They see the relevance of their learning and are motivated by understanding that learning has purpose.
  • Learning is public. Through formal structures of presentation, exhibition, critique, and data analysis, students and teachers build a shared vision of pathways to achievement.
  • Learning is collaborative. School leaders, teachers, students, and families share rigorous expectations for quality work, achievement, and behavior. Trust, respect, responsibility, and joy in learning permeate the school culture.




THANK YOU, Parent/Staff Chaperones:
Suzanne Cooper
Keelie Dewilde
Pam Camissa
Bret Crossley
Vanessa Miller
Beth Rhatigan

Special Thanks to Caroline Kennedy, for hosting us in her lab at UNCA!

PS  I only have photographs from the group I chaperoned, so please share any pictures, observations, and great questions…students and teachers!  Looking forward to new adventures in 2016!  🙂


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