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SUSAN ANDERSON

: : 307-268-3113 : Office EI #113 :
 

 
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Mission Statement:
The Casper Mountain Science School provides students the opportunity to learn outdoors, to increase their knowledge of science, to find delight in nature, and to reflect on their place in the world.

| What is CMSS? | Who Benefits? | Environment |
For a look at what goes on at the Casper Mountain Science School on a beautiful fall day with 8th graders helping teach 2nd graders about science, check out this story that ran on K2TV on September 25, 2014.

What is the CMSS?
  • Casper Mountain Science School (CMSS) is a new opportunity for students to experience science in a unique and fun way – the outdoors. CMSS is a science-based, multidisciplinary program where knowledge is interwoven with Wyoming's ecology. Students come to understand the many relationships between themselves and our geology, biology, climate, and history that create our unique landscape.

  • Learning at CMSS is based on objective curricula that encompass inquiry, discovery, and problem solving strategies. It encourages students to ask questions, find answers, arrive at their own conclusions, and be reflective about their own learning.

  • The science school is located near Casper, Wyoming on Casper Mountain at Camp Sacajawea. Sessions are held during the academic school year, September through May. Sessions can run from one to four days in length during the Fall and Spring Semesters.

  • CMSS is a partnership between Natrona County School District, Casper College, University of Wyoming/Casper College Center and BOCES.

Things You Should Know About Casper Mountain Science SchoolTop of page
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Who Benefits?

Students K-12 can benefit from Casper Mountain Science School, and will be provided with enrichment programs outside the classroom that meet state standards. The enrichment programs will help these students in choosing their academic paths.

College students, either science or education majors, are trained to serve as instructors at Casper Mountain Science School. These college students and future educators gain experience in outdoor, multidisciplinary, and inquire based teaching, by expanding their vision of what teaching is and can be.

Current teachers can benefit from this program by learning more about local ecology and through in-service workshops.

The program at Casper Mountain Science School is based on the Wyoming State Science Standards and the NCSD Essential Curriculum with a focus on inquiry, discovery, problem solving and reflection. It will help students gain an awareness of the natural world, build leadership skills, encourage responsibility, and raise respect for their local surroundings.Top of page

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Environment

Things You Should Know About Casper Mountain Science SchoolTop of page
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| CMSS FACILITIES |
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Registration & Fees

Arrangements for two, three or four day sessions can be made. The average rate per student, per day is $50. This amount can be adjusted for each group depending on the number of meals and programing selected. A four day session is $200. This amount covers tuition, fees, food and lodging. Students attending Casper Mountain Science School will be registered as Casper College students under the Continuing Education Program.

All NCSD #1 eighth grade students can attend a four day session at CMSS for no charge through an NCDS #1 Secondary Innovations Grant. Other classes planning to attend CMSS can do fund-raising activities to help offset the cost of registration. Private donors have also offered to provide financial assistance to classrooms. To learn more about financial assistance, the sponsoring teacher should contact Susan Anderson at CMSS for details.


2014 Fall Sessions
Reserved Session 1 September 8–11
Reserved Session 2 September 15-18
Reserved Session 3 September 22-25
Reserved Tentative Session 4 Sept. 29 – Oct. 2
Reserved Session 5 Oct. 6-9
Reserved Session 6 Oct. 13-16
Reserved Session 7 Oct. 20-23
Reserved Tentative Session 8 Oct. 27-30
Reserved Session 9 Nov. 3-5
Reserved Session 10 Nov. 10-13
Reserved Tentative Session 11 Nov. 17-19
   
(Session Thirteen is open to all eighth graders through an application process.)
     

Teachers, to reserve a date for your class, please contact Carolyn Jacobs or Susan Anderson @ (307) 268-3113.

 

| Science Curriculum | Evening Programs | Facilities | Typical Schedule | Teacher Role |
| Preparation for Trip | What teachers are saying about CMSS |Things You Should Know About Casper Mountain Science SchoolTop of page
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Science Curriculum

The primary service provided by CMSS is a four-day outdoor science experience for K-12 students. The curriculum is tied to the school district's core curricula in science, math, and language arts, but the material is taught in an experiential, hands-on manner. This experience is designed to compliment classroom lessons, while providing a much richer and deeper learning experience, shown to benefit children with a variety of learning styles. We believe we can engage students who may not do well in the traditional classroom, and also stimulate gifted students who appreciate intellectual exploration. CMSS will meet the district's "essential curriculum" and state standards required for junior high science. Additional curriculum can be developed to meet other grade levels.

The mission of the Casper Mountain Science School is to provide students the opportunity to learn outdoors where they can increase their knowledge of science, find delight in nature, and reflect on their place in the world. CMSS will provide educational experiences at two levels. Middle level and upper elementary students will attend four day programs and college students will have the opportunity to be instructors. The program has multiple goals:

  • To teach the natural history and ecology of Casper Mountain and surrounding areas
  • To utilize place-based, experiential learning and authentic scientific research to engage student interest
  • To promote responsibility and community service through cooperative learning and self-discovery
  • To provide opportunities for students from Casper College and the University of Wyoming/Casper College Center to explore careers in outdoor and science education.

The program is designed as a four day residential experience at Camp Sacajawea near Casper, Wyoming. The camp provides a rustic, yet comfortable, site for the program. The schedule for the four days includes both rigorous instruction and free time for sharing and developing friendships. The curriculum is an inquiry-based exploration of local ecosystems, incorporating math, language arts, and history as much as possible. The place-based curriculum encourages students to use basic scientific concepts to understand the specific natural history and ecology of Casper Mountain.

CMSS students will be divided into groups of five to seven students, each led by a field instructor. This low student/teacher ratio provides opportunities for cooperative learning, teamwork, and leadership training, elements essential to meet CMSS goals and provide the optimal learning environment.

All staff are well trained in the natural history of central Wyoming, the CMSS curriculum, and outdoor risk management and first aid.

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Evening Programs
Each night a different evening program will be offered. Experts from the Planetarium present a "Night Sky Program" and local musicians join in for "Music Night". Hikes and varied presentations will also be offered.

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Facilities

CMSS is located at Camp Sacajawea on Casper Mountain, owned by the Girl Scout Council of Montana and Wyoming. The camp has four yurts, each of which sleeps eight students each. There are separate male/female shower facilities. Quarters for the instructors, along with their bathroom facility, are located in the lodge. The lodge has a combination dining room and activity room, and a full kitchen with walk-in cooler and dry storage for food. There is a large loft activity room, as well as a deck for outdoor activities. Camp Sacajawea is located on a major road maintained all seasons. An on-site caretaker provides maintenance and security.Top of page

 
Sample Schedule
  • Investigations: Stream Ecology, Animals & Habitats, Plant Communities
    • Tuesday
      • 11:00 Check in
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Orientation and Overview
      • 1:30 Team Building
      • 5:30 Free Time
      • 6:00 Dinner
      • 7:00 Night Sky Program
      • 10:00 Cabins
      • 10:15 Lights Out
    • Wednesday
      • 6:00 Wake up
      • 7:30 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Investigation I
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Investigation II
      • 5:30 Free Time
      • 6:00 Dinner
      • 7:30 Music Night
      • 9:30 Cabins
      • 10:00 Lights Out
    • Thursday
      • 5:30 Wake up
      • 6:00 Bird Walk
      • 7:00 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Investigation III
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Service Project
      • 4:30 Project Preparation
      • 6:30 Banquet
      • 8:00 Hoe Down
      • 10:00 Cabins
      • 10:15 Lights Out
    • Friday
      • 6:30 Wake Up
      • 7:00 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Service Project
      • 10:00 Journal Sharing/Wrap-up
      • 11:00 Camp Clean-Up
      • 12:30 Lunch
      • 1:30 Travel to CasperTop of page
 
Teacher Role

We ask that elementary teachers attend CMSS with their students. Teachers will also need to make arrangements for 2 male and 2 female parent chaperones for each night at the school. Each chaperone will be assigned a yurt to supervise overnight. Chaperones are only needed in the evening and overnight hours.

Middle level teachers are encouraged but not required to attend CMSS with their students.

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Preparation for Trip
Content coming soon.

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What do teachers have to say about CMSS?

"Classroom information is directly applied to real world locally; real science."

"It is a living laboratory to get students interested in their surroundings."

"CMSS provides students with experiences that are difficult to achieve in the classroom, reinforcing what is learned in the classroom."

"The value of CMSS is that it's taking advantage of local resources."Top of page

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| What students are saying about CMSS | Activities |
| Where you sleep | What you eat | What to pack |
| Conditions | Things You Should Know | Sample Schedule |
Things You Should Know About Casper Mountain Science SchoolTop of page

 

What do Casper Mountain Science School Students have to say?

"This week I learned that I love being outside and that I actually know more than I thought about nature. I also learned that I am good at being responsible and caring for others."

"The most important thing I learned was how to treat everyone the same and how to have fun without cell phones, iPods or video games."

"I learned how important it is to observe and ask questions so that I don't ever miss the little things in nature, science and life."

"CMSS was so much more hands-on! In school you are mainly stuck behind a desk listening to lectures, but with CMSS you have so much fun learning by experiencing things that you are studying."

"The best thing about the camp was the people. They made it feel like home away from home."

"Being able to go outside and actually explore nature instead of being in school…labeling charts and diagrams."

"I learned a lot about science, how we need to be kind to the environment, and how well I work with people."

"I learned…that science can be a lot more fun when you are not sitting in a classroom."

What do teachers have to say about CMSS?

"Classroom information is directly applied to real world locally; real science."

"It is a living laboratory to get students interested in their surroundings."

"CMSS provides students with experiences that are difficult to achieve in the classroom, reinforcing what is learned in the classroom."

"The value of CMSS is that it's taking advantage of local resources."

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Activities

Throughout the week a number of investigations will take place. These include the following:

  • Animal Investigation
    This activity explores the various evidences of animals on the mountain. Looking at tracks and other signs we will determine some of the habitat and conditions specific animals have to cope with. It will look into the various adaptations these animals have that allow them to survive. We will compare and contrast habitats.

  • Plant Investigation
    Plants are a vital role in making up habitats on Casper Mountain. We will conduct a species inventory of various habitats. Looking at what contributions plants make to the ecosystem, we will explore how plants influence the food web and how environmental factors affect plants.

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Where you sleep
Students will sleep in yurts. The yurts are cabin style insulated tents with wooden floors. They are heated with wood stoves. The lodge with restrooms and showers is close by. Students will have beds but will need to bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. If you don't have a cold weather sleeping bag we can provide one for you. Please do not purchase a sleeping bag.Top of page
 
What you eat
Meals are served in the lodge. Everyone is expected to help with clean up following meals. Students should let faculty know of any special dietary needs three weeks prior to camp. Food will not be allowed in the yurts.Top of page
 
What to pack
What to Bring   What NOT to Bring
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Pillow
  • Pants (2 pair, long)
  • Shirts (4, T-shirts and long sleeve)
  • Underwear (as many as you think)
  • Good Rain Gear
  • Socks (5 pair or more)
  • Coat
  • Good hiking boots or shoes (1 extra pair)
  • Shower/Water Shoes (optional)
  • Day Pack
  • Hat
  • Writing Materials (pens/pencils)
  • Notebook (small)
  • Water Bottle
  • Soap
  • Personal Toiletries
  • Personal Medications (to be turned in to teacher)
  • Towel
  • Insect repellant (non-aerosol)
  • Sunscreen
  • Flashlight (w/ extra batteries)
  • Camera (optional)
  • Sunglasses (optional)
  • Sweater (optional)
  • Shorts (optional)

  • Printable Version
 
  • IPOD (or anything like it)
  • Candy, Gum, Snacks, etc…
  • Knives (including pocket knives)
  • Lighters and matches
  • Cell Phone
  • Electronic Games

Because you will be outside so much we recommend no open toed shoes including flip-flops and sandals. Dress should be appropriate for the out of doors. No tank-tops, short-shorts, and clothing that expose back and belly.

 

Pointers
  • Label all your stuff with your name.
  • Pack Light – you may have to haul it some distance to your cabin. Don't bring extra stuff.
  • If you don't have items like cold weather sleeping bags, coats, snow pants, and boots please let us know. We have these items availabe for your use while at CMSS.

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Conditions
Camp Sacagawea is located on the west end of Casper Mountain. It is south and west of Hogadon Ski area. The camp is nestled in behind a stand of pine trees. The elevation is about 7,900 feet. The weather will be cooler than in lower elevation areas like Casper. During the months of October through May prepare for cold rains and snow. Nights will be cold. Most of the day, you will be outside conducting investigations. Very seldom will you be inside. Students should dress for a variety of weather conditions. Dressing in layers is a good idea.Top of page
 
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Sample Schedule
  • Investigations: Stream Ecology, Animals & Habitats, Plant Communities
    • Monday
      • 8:00 College Prep Day, All Day
    • Tuesday
      • 11:00 Check in
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Orientation and Overview
      • 1:30 Team Building
      • 5:30 Free Time
      • 6:00 Dinner
      • 7:00 Night Sky Program
      • 10:00 Cabins
      • 10:15 Lights Out
    • Wednesday
      • 6:00 Wake up
      • 7:30 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Investigation I
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Investigation II
      • 5:30 Free Time
      • 6:00 Dinner
      • 7:30 Music Night
      • 9:30 Cabins
      • 10:00 Lights Out
    • Thursday
      • 5:30 Wake up
      • 6:00 Bird Walk
      • 7:00 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Investigation III
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Service Project
      • 4:30 Project Preparation
      • 6:30 Banquet
      • 8:00 Hoe Down
      • 10:00 Cabins
      • 10:15 Lights Out
    • Friday
      • 6:30 Wake Up
      • 7:00 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Service Project
      • 10:00 Journal Sharing/Wrap-up
      • 11:00 Camp Clean-Up
      • 12:30 Lunch
      • 1:30 Travel to CasperTop of page

 

| What parents are saying about CMSS | Registration & Fees | Sample Schedule |

What do parents have to say about CMSS?

"Thank you so much for providing this opportunity for my daughter. She had a fantastic time. It definitely further increased her already strong desire for knowledge about science."

"Our son learned to appreciate the outdoors. He has become more interested in doing more outside."

"The instructors were great!"

"My child spoke for two hours straight about his CMSS experience."

"She came home determined to become a biologist."

Things You Should Know About Casper Mountain Science SchoolTop of pageTop of page

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Registration & Fees
Content coming soon.

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Sample Schedule
  • Investigations: Stream Ecology, Animals & Habitats, Plant Communities
    • Monday
      • 8:00 College Prep Day, All Day
    • Tuesday
      • 11:00 Check in
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Orientation and Overview
      • 1:30 Team Building
      • 5:30 Free Time
      • 6:00 Dinner
      • 7:00 Night Sky Program
      • 10:00 Cabins
      • 10:15 Lights Out
    • Wednesday
      • 6:00 Wake up
      • 7:30 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Investigation I
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Investigation II
      • 5:30 Free Time
      • 6:00 Dinner
      • 7:30 Music Night
      • 9:30 Cabins
      • 10:00 Lights Out
    • Thursday
      • 5:30 Wake up
      • 6:00 Bird Walk
      • 7:00 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Investigation III
      • 12:00 Lunch
      • 1:00 Service Project
      • 4:30 Project Preparation
      • 6:30 Banquet
      • 8:00 Hoe Down
      • 10:00 Cabins
      • 10:15 Lights Out
    • Friday
      • 6:30 Wake Up
      • 7:00 Breakfast
      • 8:00 Service Project
      • 10:00 Journal Sharing/Wrap-up
      • 11:00 Camp Clean-Up
      • 12:30 Lunch
      • 1:30 Travel to CasperTop of page
| Staff | Advisory Board |

Dr. BrownCMSS Executive Director – Evert Brown, D.A.
[ Contact ]

Dr. Evert Brown is an instructor in the Biology Department at Casper College. He also supervises the Casper College Greenhouse and is the curator for the Casper College Herbarium. Dr. Brown is the State Coordinator of Project WET, an environmental education curriculum provider. In 2004, he was awarded the Wyoming Outdoor Educator of the Year by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. In 2005, he was awarded the Rosenthal Outstanding Educator Award from Casper College and Outstanding Adjunct Educator Award from the University of Wyoming.

Dr. Brown offers a diverse assortment of courses for Casper College and the University of Wyoming including: Ecology, Botany, Plant Taxonomy, Plant Ecology, Flora of the Rocky Mountains, GIS/GPS, Life Sciences (for Elementary Education majors), and even a PE course. He has worked with the Field Science class for a number of years. A faculty member of the Intermountain Environmental Education Training Team, Dr. Brown has presented many teacher trainings for Natrona County School District, in Wyoming, and throughout the Intermountain Region.

In 2008, Dr. Brown completed the instructor course at the National Outdoor Leadership School. As a NOLS Instructor, Dr. Brown has learned a number of techniques readily transferable to teaching in outdoor settings and directly applicable to pre-service teacher education.

Following his 2007 sabbatical where he learned significant pedagogies relating to outdoor education, Dr. Brown incorporated the skills he acquired into this field science program as well as other offerings.


Susan Anderson - CMSS

Susan Anderson
CMSS Program Coordinator

Susan Anderson is a former adjunct English teacher at Casper College and she managed the college’s 2008 Bond Campaign that raised funding for recent campus construction projects.

As a journalist in Wyoming she was most recently Business Editor at the Casper Star-Tribune. Previously she was editor at the Casper Journal and continues to write a weekly column for the paper. She produced and hosted a public affairs program “Wyoming Weekly” for Wyoming Public Television and before that was News Director at KTWO Television and host of the weekly interview program, “Report to Wyoming.”

She has a Master of Science degree from Columbia University School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Wooster. Anderson is the author of two books, “Living in Wyoming: Settling for More” and “Wyoming is Wild – and the kids are barbarians.”


PortraitCarolyn Jacobs
Natrona County School District Liason

Carolyn Jacobs (NCSD) has 21 years experience as a classroom teacher of science at Dean Morgan Jr High. In 1999, she received the Medallion of Excellence award from NCSD. In 2002, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. She completed her Master's of Natural Science degree in the spring of 2003.

Carolyn Jacobs and Evert Brown have worked together for a number of years to offer teacher trainings in the region through Summer Field Science. In May 2008, they offered the pilot program for Casper Mountain Science School.


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Advisory Board Members

  • Evert Brown, Casper College Biology Instructor, Department Chair
  • Carolyn Jacobs, Dean Morgan Jr. High Science Teacher
  • Jeanne Spawn, NCSD Administrator
  • Jason Katzmann, University of Wyoming Casper College Center Science Education Professor
  • Tammy Brown, Casper College Education Instructor
  • Kendall Jacobs, Casper College Math Instructor & Planetarium
  • Terry Logue, UNA Emeritus Professor, Earth Science
  • Wanda Peters, Audubon Wyoming Community Naturalist
  • Mardie Robinson, NCSD Retired Teacher
  • Dana Van Burgh, Casper College Field Science Instructor
  • Ebba Stedillie, Casper College Communications Instructor
  • Will Waterbuy, Environmental / Outdoor Educator
  • Andrew Allgeier, Boy Scouts of America
 

 

     
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