Seventh Graders Go to Burke Lake

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The Burke Lake field trip is an annual one-day excursion for all seventh graders at Robinson Secondary. This year, the field trip took place from the 16-20th of October and was led by many volunteers from George Mason University. Before the field trip, seventh graders had mixed feelings. Bella B said, “I’m excited for Burke Lake, because I have never in my life been to Burke Lake,” and Natasha L said, “Personally, I think that it may turn out to be boring, because I go to Burke Lake at least once every month and many times during the summer.”

To prepare for the field trip, seventh grade science classes created model ecosystems. Each table had their own tank which included many plants, including purple waffles, arches, duckweed, and moneywort, as well as animals such as mollies, guppies, crayfish, and snails. Each class period, students test the water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and the nitrites. After practice in the classroom, students were ready to test all of those things at Burke Lake.

On the day of the field trip, students split up into groups and rotated through five stations. During one station, students ate their lunch and went on a scavenger hunt. At the second station, students identified trees, and at the third, the students tested the water quality. Seventh graders also tested the density of the ground. In the last station, the groups took turns scooping dirt into a net and looking for animals.

The Champions team was the first to go on the field trip. They had a station where they put on waders (tall boots) and waded in the water. One student actually fell into the water, and the later groups weren’t allowed to go in. Gilad E, the seventh-grader who fell in, told his side of the story. “When it was my turn to go into the water I decided that I wanted to be a risk taker and go out around 30 feet farther than I should have. When I got far out, the water got too deep, and it seeped into my boots, soaking me from my knees down. Then the guy said I had to come back, so I started running back. But each step, my boot was going deeper and deeper into the mud, until I fell and got super wet on a freezing cold day.”

Aside from the one human ice cube, the Burke Lake Field Trip was a great way to get the students out of their everyday classrooms.