The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

The Student News Site of Shadow Hills High School

The Knight Times

Biology Students Experience Unforgettable Field Trip

Rileigh Marriott
A view of the Coachella Valley from Mt. San Jacinto. Oct. 10, 2023

Last Tuesday was a memorable day for 117 Shadow Hills juniors who traveled more than 8500 feet in the air via the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. On Oct. 10 the biology classes journeyed by bus, then tram car, to the top of Mt. San Jacinto where they explored the unique mountain habitat and experienced hands-on learning. 

The Shadow Hills biology teachers recognize the value of field trips and getting first hand experience. For that reason, the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway was a perfect opportunity for students to apply their newfound knowledge of ecosystems, and enjoy the mountain climate. 

Biology teacher Mrs. Tejeda explained, “[This field trip] will also be relevant for future units throughout the school year, because the topics in Biology are interconnected.

“It’s the circle of life!” she added enthusiastically. 

The students hiked, and discovered the subalpine forest, along with its unique abiotic and biotic factors. As students continued to explore the unfamiliar environment, they were able to make connections with topics they learned about in class. 

Kaleb Rubalcava (‘25) said he observed, “how animals [interacted] with the environment. [A squirrel was] running and jumping across the wooded areas into a little hole,” he noted. It was an example of a microhabitat, something students had just studied in class. 

As they waited to descend the mountain in the tram cars, students could be heard excitedly sharing the day’s observations. Of particular interest was the taxidermy museum, which allows people the opportunity to see, up close, the various animals that are common on Mt. San Jacinto.  

In the end, the field trip was not just an opportunity for students to apply academic vocabulary in the real world, or for them to see amazing views. It was also about seeing things from a different perspective and, as science teacher Ms. Clous explained,  it was a way for students to “just to be inspired about the world around them.” 

“Sometimes we don’t stop to appreciate the beauty of where we are at…it might just start that chain for one person to be adventurous or try something new or go look at something new because we talked about it in the book, and they want to see it in real life,” added Ms. Clous. 

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About the Contributor
Rileigh Marriott, Staff Reporter
Rileigh is currently a junior at Shadow Hills High School. She plays soccer and reads in her free time. She plans to go to the University of Oregon to major in Education. She also loves to travel. She plans on visiting Europe again. Her favorite thing to do is go to concerts, and she's seen her two favorite artists twice in concert.
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