CVES students tour Shelby County

By AMALIA KORTRIGHT/Staff Writer

ALABASTER- Second graders at Creek View Elementary took a field trip around Shelby County on Nov. 4 and 5. The students toured Myers Plants and Pottery in Pelham, the Birmingham National Weather Service headquarters and the Shelby County Airport in Calera.

According to Creek View Elementary teacher Stephanie Cochran, the field trip was planned to coordinate with the second grade science curriculum.

“For the second grade course of study, we have to cover plants and animals and weather, so we just looked for opportunities in the community where kids could learn about those things,” Cochran said.

Cochran also said that the field trip helped make students aware of the different career paths that will be available for them in Shelby County.

“We wanted to show the kids all of the different opportunities for careers there are in the community. It gives them real life connections to what they’re learning at school,” Cochran said. “It gives them a passion and helps them keep a love of learning.”

According to Creek View Elementary teacher Chrissy Walsh, students learned about carnivorous plants, looked at a fish pond and planted seeds at Myers Plants and Pottery. Walsh also said that this was the first time that Myers Plants and Pottery has ever had a class tour their nursery.

At the National Weather Service, students toured the weather observation rooms and looked at several weather instruments.

“We wanted to let them see what we do at the National Weather Service as far as forecasting and looking at the weather. We wanted to let them know about the warnings that we issue and promote weather safety,” said meteorologist Gerald Satterwhite.

Students toured the facilities and learned about the physical characteristics of airplanes and flight procedures at the Shelby County Airport.

Satterwhite said that the field trip had the potential to influence students’ career decisions later in life.

“I’ve been asking students what their favorite kind of weather is, and we’ve had several answer for the more extreme side of weather. Usually, that is a heads’ up that they might be a junior meteorologist,” Satterwhite said.

Shelby County Airport Pilot Larry Harris also viewed the field trip as a recruitment tool for offices and businesses in Shelby County.

“We’re always trying to encourage younger kids to take up flying. We’re trying to find kids who have any interest at all and encourage them to start thinking about it. Most kids don’t start flying until they’re 15 or 16, but we want the kids to relate to what’s here,” Harris said.

Parents also appreciated that students had the opportunity to tour the county.

“The kids seem like they’re having a good time. They seem to be really interested when people are explaining things to them,” said grandparent and chaperone Tanya Overton.