WENATCHEE, Wash. — Virtually every second grader in Wenatchee, nearly 700 students, will leave their classrooms next week to spend two days in the orchards of the Washington State University Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center.
The fifth annual “Awesome Apple Adventure” field experience will bring the students to the facility, along with teachers, parent and volunteers, to learn about the orchard industry and why Wenatchee is known as the Apple Capital of the World.
This year’s “Awesome Apple Adventure” will take place on Sept. 28 and 29, from 9 am until 2 pm each day. The TFREC is located at 1100 N. Western Ave. in Wenatchee. The WSU TFREC, the Wenatchee School District, and the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center jointly host the annual field experience.
According to Mike Doerr, WSU senior scientific assistant and one of the event organizers, this year’s field day promises to be the largest held.
“This year we’ve been able to include private schools as well, so virtually every second grader in Wenatchee, as well as a handful of classes from East Wenatchee, Cashmere and Leavenworth, will have the opportunity to participate,” Doerr says.
Karen Rutherford, science coordinator for the Wenatchee School District says the event is the most popular field experience in which the school district participates.
“I still hear students talking about it from the first class that participated four years ago,” Rutherford says. “And it’s the most sought after field experience by parents that we do.”
Last year about 150 parents joined the second graders in attending the event.
Volunteers from the WSU TFREC will lead sessions and offer hands-on activities in the areas of entomology, horticulture, harvest and soils. School district and museum staff and volunteers will provide music, art, storytelling, apple tasting and other activities.
“It’s really a good opportunity to promote science as a fun career choice,” says Doerr. “In my job I get to work with bugs, work in the orchard and work with the latest computer technology. I get to do the stuff that kids love.”
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