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  • Writer's pictureJenna Granger

Sagehen Winter Trek 2022: Snowshoeing & Science

Sunshine and a deep snowpack greeted the students who participated in the 2022 Winter Trek program. Despite many delays and rescheduling due to a wild January, as the Omicron variant wreaked havoc on our local schools, SWEP and the Sagehen Outdoor Education Program were able to deliver this program to over 200 fifth grade students in the Truckee Tahoe area. Students from each school were able to explore wildlands close to each school site, including National Forest, State Park, and Tahoe City PUD lands.

The program began with students learning how to put on snowshoes and how to properly ensure they were well secured, by playing Snowshoe Rock Paper Scissors.

Students then set off with their instructors to become snow scientists...

Students learned about the water cycle, where the Tahoe/Truckee snowpack comes from (the Pacific Ocean!), and about our local watersheds in a fun game, called Grab Some Snow.

Continuing the trek onward, students were encouraged to make educated guesses on a variety of snow science questions:

  • How deep is the snowpack?

  • What causes variation in snowpack depth?

  • Is the temperature of the snow colder or warmer at the bottom of the snowpack vs. the top? Why?

  • Does all snow hold the same amount of water?

  • Why do snow scientists want to know how deep the snowpack is and how much water is being held in it? Why is this information important?

Students were then given the tools to find out the answers.

After snow science, the students learned about winter animal adaptations and got to run and play in the snow.

Overall, the days spent out in the sun and snow were filled with smiles, learning, and connecting with nature.

Thank you to TTUSD and the Sagehen Outdoor Education Program for supporting us with this program!

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