Students take part in trip

Submitted photo Eighth-grade students from Tygarts Valley Middle/High School experience a range of hands-on activities during ‘The Arts and The Earth’ field trip last week in Elkins.

ELKINS — ArtsBank, in partnership with West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, welcomed eighth-grade students from Tygarts Valley Middle/High School for the first part of their “The Arts and The Earth” field trip at Fox Forest in Elkins last week.

Thanks to funding from The Clay Center, The Benedum Foundation and Chevron, students are able to experience science, technology, engineering, arts and math (S.T.E.A.M.) through hands-on science activities, journaling and art expression.

Students have the opportunity to learn from and work with many experts, including Dr. Jim Van Gundy, emeritis professor of biology and environmental sciences at Davis & Elkins College; Kevin Woodcock, local artist and professor of art at Davis & Elkins College; Kylie Proudfoot-Payne, local artist and ArtsBank teaching artist; Pat Schoonover, retired science educator and president of ArtsBank; and Scottie Roberts Wiest, local artist and board member of ArtsBank.

TVM/HS Principal Steve Wamsley praised the


“Mr. Ramsey is taking the time to allow our eighth-graders to have a unique experience that they will remember for a lifetime,” Wamsley said in a news release. “Hands-on teaching reaches a much higher percentage of students than classroom work and taking them off campus just adds to the entire lesson.”

The students will return to Fox Forest in October for another day of learning outside the classroom, and then in the winter, the experts and instructors will visit TVM/HS to extend the learning past the field trip days. Everyone involved with this program agrees, this experiential learning stays with students long after it has ended.