November 17, 2022
June 1, 2022
May 26, 2022
Debris flows field trip to Bailey Canyon
GO-Outdoors returned to Bailey Canyon with Sierra Madre Elementary School third graders to visit a catchment basin - a real-life example of a manmade structure designed by scientists and engineers that help protect communities from being damaged by debris flows in the San Gabriel mountains. Students discussed what they recalled from the debris flow lesson in their classroom the previous week, made and recorded observations about the Bailey Canyon catchment basin, and discussed rocks, plants, erosion, and dams as they relate to natural hazards like debris flows. The group also got to observe some wildlife - three coyotes in the debris basin made a special appearance.
Field trip to Bailey Canyon with local third graders
As summer vacation approached, a class of third grade students at Sierra Madre Elementary School teamed up with GO-Outdoors to learn about landslides and debris flows. During a lesson in the classroom, students brainstormed words and concepts that relate to debris flows and watched a video of a debris flow flume experiment. Next, they tried their hands at experiments of their own, by making their own miniature debris flows with water, sand, and plastic dinosaurs. The following week, the students walked to nearby Bailey Canyon, which hosts an example of how infrastructure in the Los Angeles area helps to prevent damage from debris flows. The students recapped what they'd learned during the classroom lesson, recorded their observations about the debris catchment at Bailey Canyon, and discussed erosion, rocks, and plants in the debris catchment environment. The field trip concluded with a debris flow-themed tag game, where students acted as raindrops or trees on a mountain slope. Students and volunteers alike had a lot of fun!
May 4, 2022
Mar. 17, 2022
Muir High School students explore microbial diversity with homemade Winogradsky columns
Our first run of the field trip and in-classroom lessons comprising our "Finding the Beauty in Microbial Diversity" outreach series was a great success! In late March we teamed up with a class of AP Biology students from John Muir High School and hiked along the Gabrielino Trail in Altadena. Students rubbed leaves, streamwater, sticks, rocks, and even their tongues onto agar plates. One week later, we visited the students in their classroom to see how the microbes from those environmental samples had grown into cell colonies on the agar plates. We assembled Winogradsky columns with the environmental samples, which the students observed regularly over the next month. We joined them for one more classroom visit in early May to observe how the microbes in the column had grown, discuss how nutrients and other conditions affect microbial diversity, and view samples under a microscope. We thank the Marine Biological Laboratory for funding this experience and are looking forward to another round of this outreach series in the future!
Feb. 21, 2022
Second field trip with STARS program
GO-Outdoors teamed up with STARS after-school program this holiday weekend to run a field trip to the Hahamongna Watershed! Students from middle and high school hiked along the Gabrielino Trail and participated in activities that encouraged them to ask questions and think like a scientist, understand how topograhpy and landscape features are represented on maps, and try their hand at identifying rocks and minerals found in a streambed, all while following "Leave No Trace" principles. It was a great success! Special thanks to STARS program leaders Christian Sanchez and Bryan Mayer from PUSD for making this possible.
Oct. 15, 2021
MBL outreach proposal funded
Our MBL outreach proposal has been funded! In the spring of 2022, we will be working with several high school classes within PUSD to help students collect soil and build their own Winogradsky columns -- homogenous incubations of natural microorganisms that stratify over time, creating beautiful layers of brightly colored microbial communities, as seen in the left picture. Students will be guided in developing and supporting hypotheses about what they think will happen to their columns. Stay tuned for updates about this project!
Apr. 21, 2021
Field trip with STARS program
GO-Outdoors has teamed up with STARS -- an after school program for middle school students -- to run regular field trips and help students engage with the outdoors. Today we led our first field trip, which was a huge success thanks to the help of STARS program leader Christian Sanchez and CTLO Outreach Program Manager Kitty Cahalan, and the enthusiasm of STARS students. During the field trip, students learned to identify evidence of water, fire, and human impact along the Hahamongna-Gabrielino Trail, distinguish the three fundamental rock types (igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary), and follow the "Leave No Trace" principles of hiking.
Dec. 1, 2020
GO-Outdoors official launch!
We are beyond excited to announce the official launch of GO-Outdoors -- an outreach program dedicated to helping teach geosciences-related topics through accessible, inclusive, field-based methods. Through developing lesson plans and field trip guides for K-12 educators, as well as through leading outreach events in classrooms and in the field, we aim to increase K-12 students' exposure and access to the geosciences field. Learn more about who we are, check out our available resources, or contact us for more information.