We knew that this wasn’t like any other final exam we’d taken before. For one thing we’d gotten up at 5:45 for a bird walk at 6:00 am, which was the first part of the exam. First we heard the tufted titmouse off in the distance and Don’s hints were especially helpful. He calls a black and white warbler “the bird version of an old movie.” We walked down to the waterfront and spotted a bald eagle, and then continued up toward the farm to hear some red-winged blackbirds among others.
After breakfast we headed out to Reid State Park and started our exam with group cheers. In our groups we sang and danced to show our team spirit. Some of the team names included “the Planeteers,” “The Cycotrophies,” “Trametes,” “The Amazing Atlantic Puffins,” and a few other creative names. We went to different stations throughout the day to show all that we have learned on our science field trips and in the class. During one of our favorites we measured the speed of water traveling under a bridge. The lunch was delicious as usual, we had a barbeque with hamburgers and hotdogs and huge chocolate chip cookies. YUM. We finished off the day with a study of the rocky intertidal zone and some people found a whole family of starfish and lots of sea urchins in the tide pools! We were all exhausted on the bus ride home but were very proud of all the work we had done. It was so cool to take such a hands-on test as our final exam!
-Molly Simpson, Morristown, NJ
& Eliza Taylor, New York, NY