Last Thursday the Ridgway 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders spend a day in the snow and sun at Top of the Pines. Students rotated between stations on: snow science, using a compass, cross country skiing, winter ecology and snowshoeing, and Snow/Water Equivalency.
The UWP worked with the U.S. Forest Service to put on the Snow/Water Equivalency (SWE) station. At the SWE station students were divided into groups where they first used a yard stick (probe), to measure the average depth of a section of snow pack. The snow pack here was shallow between 9 to 13 inches on average. We were really glad for the Wednesday snowfall the day before!
Students than collected a sample of their snowpack area, measured the depth of their snow and melted it to calculate the SWE. They then generalized their findings from the snow sample to the area they measured earlier. This project helped the students better understand how snow density is used to calculate SWE to forcast annual water supply.
The students really got into measuring snow depth. The UWP and USFS had a great time
working with the students, teachers, and chaperons. Thank you to Ridgway Elementary for making the UWP a part of your educational event!