Scientific Adventures with "Sierra Dave"!
Teacher: Sierra Dave aka Dave Hymes
Ages: 8-11, plus all family members are invited to hike with us!
Mat Fees: $30
Fall: 11 weeks: $260 or $250 if taking 2 or more classes
Winter: 10 weeks: $245 or $235 if taking 2 or more classes
Spring: 10 weeks: $245 or $235 if taking 2 or more classes
Fall: How water shapes our planet
Spring: The Flora and Fauna of Santa Clarita Valley
This course is a combination of Earth Science lessons in class and hands-on observation in the field. Students will observe concepts learned in class with hikes to local areas of interest. This fall, our 11-week course will focus on the role of water in shaping the Earth, and the role of humans in altering the landscape with water. Winter and Spring sessions will have a completely different focus!
Each week we will explore how water shapes our planet. We discuss and explore local areas of interest to show examples of how water affects the surface of the Earth. The first two weeks of the class will be an introduction to Earth Science and Geomorphology, with fun, hands-on activities.
Week 1: An Introduction to Earth Science. Physical Geography and Geology. Learning about different landforms, and how they were created. We will discuss the adventures that we will be taking during the class to see local examples of landforms, how they were created and how water has played a part.
Hands-on Learning: Using clay, we will build some basic landforms such as mountains, valleys and streams!
Week 2: An introduction to Geomorphology, with a focus on the role of water in shaping the Earth’s landscapes. We will also talk about hiking safety, and the specific areas that we will be visiting during this course.
Hands-on Learning: We will build a water erosion station by utilizing soil and water, and create a “rainstorm”, in order to show how water affects the land.
Week 3: Field Trip to Vasquez Rocks – An example of Sedimentary rocks, created by the force of water, wind and earthquakes, uplifted by faulting. Take a short hike around Vasquez Rocks to see a great example of Sandstone that has been uplifted by faulting.
Week 4: Getting water down to southern California from the Sierra Nevada. We will discuss William Mulholland’s role in diverting water from the east slopes of the High Sierra to the Los Angeles basin via the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and its effects on Southern California.
Hands-on Learning: We will demonstrate how water is distributed, diverted and stored, using simple materials in class.
Week 5: Field Trip to the Santa Clara River. We will learn about the sources of the river, flood potential and the hazards of human development into potentially unsafe areas.
Week 6: A discussion of The St. Francis Dam disaster of 1928. Starting with an introduction to the local rock types and earthquake faults, we will discuss the cause and effects of the failure of the St. Francis Dam on March 12th of 1928.
Hands-on Learning: We will build a reservoir in class, and demonstrate what happens when it is suddenly drained.
Week 7: Field Trip to the St. Francis Dam area. We will hike into San Francisquito canyon and observe the remnants of the dam failure.
Week 8: We will discuss streams and reservoirs near the Santa Clarita Valley, with a focus on Castaic Lake, Pyramid Lake and Piru Creek.
Hands-on Learning: We will investigate how water is distributed on Earth.
Week 9: Field Trip to see the Pyramid Lake Dam, and a hike into Piru Creek Canyon (Frenchman’s Flat).
Week 10: An Introduction to Weather and Climate. We will discuss Droughts, Fires and Floods, and their effects on the land. We will focus on the climate and weather of Southern California, and its effect on local landforms. We will also learn about how to read topographic and meteorological maps.
Hands-on Learning: We will learn about our local geography by having students create their own map in class.
Week 11: Field Trip to Placerita Canyon – Seeing the effects of drought on the land. We will hike into Placerita Canyon and examine the effects of the most recent drought and fires in the area.