Last week our 5th grade classes visited the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona. The students studied habitats, life in the desert, ethnobotany, photosynthesis, and other concepts. The preserve’s presentations integrated 5th grade science curriculum and featured hands-on projects, like building plant molecular models and using thermometers to determine which color absorbs the most sunlight.
The students’ guide, a bonafide Grand Canyon park ranger, pointed out the resources we extract from desert plant life, such as natural lip balms found in cacti and the hair conditioning properties of the Jojoba plant. To their delight, she even allowed the children to try prickly pear fruit and dried mesquite pods during her presentation.
On behalf of our students, we’d like to thank all those who participate in our Food for Thought Program for making learning experiences like this possible.