BSE 5th Graders Ascend to Mazama Lodge for Science in the Snow


Hopefully, the memories of the fantastic time you had at this year’s 5th Grade Pancake Breakfast are just as hot and fresh as the sausages served! Our BSE 5th graders THANK YOU again for your participation, as they were recently able to enjoy some science in the snow at Mazama Lodge as part of this year’s outdoor science adventure.


The weather didn’t freeze out the kids’ enthusiasm (and only held up buses...temporarily) as they learned about …

  • Ice glaciers + forts (and the insulation they provide) + snow volcanoes
  • The physics of sleds… or as the exercise became known - HOW CAN I GET THIS SLED TO GO FASTER?
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Building snow caves and tunnels similar to the animals who live in cold climates
  • Snowshoes and what makes them work

We did an informal poll of some of the 5th graders, and here are the experiences they valued most:

  • Playing in the snow
  • Sledding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Campfire sing-a-longs
  • Working on projects with kids they hadn’t before
  • Experiments

A lot of prep goes in to getting the campers winter weather ready. Some of the best tips we collected from parents of this year’s crew include:

  1. Layer up. It’s cold in the cabins at night. Heed the warnings on the paperwork!
  2. If you’re short on packing space, it might be helpful to keep these things in mind:
    • Layers are important, but based on this year, it seems the kids won’t change the middle layer as often as you might hope.
    • Boots and slippers seemed to be sufficient footwear-wise.
    • Wear boots on the bus
    • Pack sleeping bags, blankets and pillows in one of the trash bags you’re bringing. This saves space in bags, and keeps bedding clean.
    • Showering didn’t seem to be a widely-offered option, so you may not need a towel, etc.
  3. Bring a snack and reusable water bottle on the bus. It’s a good ride, and some kids may benefit from having something to hold them over before lunch at the lodge.

On behalf of all 5th grade parents around the ‘Slope, we’d like to send a special shout to the parent chaperones. We owe you some Advil!

Finally, with the official outdoor school experience becoming a district-wide offering for all Beaverton School District sixth graders this year, we extend our appreciation to the BSE fifth grade teachers for sourcing an alternative option for our Bobcats, and to BSCO for their continued support of this much-loved tradition. It was snow much fun for all involved. (Oh yes we just did that.)