Seven students from the California Academy of Mathematics and Science recently participated in the 2013 Sequoia Forestry Challenge. The CAMS students competed among 50 high school students from eight schools in central and southern California. The event was held at the Clemmie Gill School of Science and Conservation, near Springville, the gateway to the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
This year was the first time CAMS participated, and their top team placed fourth out of 12 teams.
Students revised an interpretive trail guide for the one-mile Forest Information Trail at Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest. After spending a day hiking the trail to collect data and confer with the State Forest staff, students created their own versions of the trail guide, providing future hikers with information on tree species, animal habitats, evidence of past human activities, and recent harvest activity.
During the challenge, teams of students also completed field training, followed by a field test, to assess their technical forestry knowledge. They learned, for example, how to quickly estimate tree height, and how to identify trees by their leaves or needles.
“The Forestry Challenge was an incredible chance for students to learn practical applications of classroom materials, and to learn entirely new skills,” said CAMS teacher Matt Gold.
“The scenery was gorgeous and the foresters were so kind and informative,” said Makaylah Respicio, a senior at CAMS. “This experience is one we are definitely never going to forget.”
Learn more at forestrychallenge.org.