On Friday December 16, just before Winter Break, MacDuffie 6th and 7th graders visited Howe Caverns in upstate New York. Located just west of Albany, Howe Caverns is a 6 million year old cave that was discovered by a farmer in 1842. Since then, the cave has been a national attraction appealing to all ages.
After descending 156 feet below the Earth’s surface, the middle schoolers studied the rich limestone formations and the countless stalactites and stalagmites growing inside the cavern. This experience furthered the middle schooler’s lesson on erosion in their Earth Science class taught by Ms. Ryan and Ms. Rechtin.
The 90 minute tour ended with a boat ride of Lake Venus which is the underground remnants of the Atlantic Ocean found deep inside the cavern. While there, tour guides shut off all artificial lights, leaving the group in utter darkness, giving them a sense of how deep below the surface they really were. Finally, the students treked through the 500 foot serpentine passage known as the Winding Way which is one of the world’s best examples of underground water erosion, which gave them an up close experience of their class lectures.
Incoming Middle Schoolers can look forward to this trip next year as it is one of the many unique, hands on experiences that MacDuffie provides, enhancing student’s education.