Skamania’s motto is “The Gorge is our classroom,” but this spring the fifth and sixth graders ventured all the way to the Coast for a three-day “outdoor school.”

OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) and Skamania School staff, and parent volunteers accompanied the students on the trek to Camp Meriwether, north of Pacific City, Oregon, where they focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) applications in the coastal environment.

Activities included orienteering, working through group problem-solving challenges, exploring coastal ecosystems and participating in campfire programs.

“It was excellent to see students building camaraderie and showing their curiosity about the environment,” says Superintendent Ralph Pruitt.

The adventure was made possible by a $10,000 Title IV allocation from the Small, Rural School Achievement Program.

This year, Title IV money also helped fund swimming lessons for the third and fourth graders, and a day using the ropes course at Skamania Lodge for the seventh and eighth graders.

“It all fits nicely with the STEM initiative,” Pruitt says.