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Imagine 2,000 students and teachers from Chesterton High School deployed throughout the 15,000 acres of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with the purpose of studying, exploring, and volunteering, and you will have a good picture of what Dunes Day 2016 will look like on Tuesday, September 20.
This might be the largest field trip ever! It certainly will be for the national lakeshore, and it will possibly break a world record.
The purpose of Dunes Day 2016 is not to break world records, however. Instead the idea behind this massive school field trip is simply to get students outdoors to learn from nature and to celebrate the 50thbirthday of the national park that is in their backyard. To that end, teams of teachers will be working alongside National Park Service staff and volunteers to lead various activities throughout the park. For example, three art teachers have joined together to work with volunteer artists to create a natural sculpture on the beach, using objects found in nature. Two chemistry teachers and their students will work with a park resource manager to collect water samples and measure for dissolved oxygen, phosphorous and other indicators of water quality. The school radio station, WDSO, will do mobile broadcasts from various locations. Approximately 45 groups of students will be dispersed throughout the entire park in this unique experiential project.
According to Jeff Van Drie, Chesterton High School principal, “Our goals are to help build community with students, staff and the greater Duneland area, to provide diverse educational opportunities for all of our students, and to promote stewardship of this wonder on our doorstep.”
Dunes Day is being supported in part by the Dunes Learning Center and the National Park Service in collaboration with Chesterton High School and the Duneland School Corporation.
For more information on this and other programs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, contact the visitor center at 219-395-1882 or check out our website at www.nps.gov/indu.