The fourth-grade students of Chagrin Falls Intermediate School (CFIS) embarked on an educational adventure at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History this past April. This field trip provided a hands-on learning experience that perfectly complemented their science lessons on Native American life, fossils, and the evolution of our world.

Upon arrival, an instructor led the eager students to a classroom where they delved into the fascinating world of Ohio's indigenous people before the arrival of European settlers in 1650. Through an engaging program, the students had the opportunity to inspect real museum artifacts and replicas from four main eras, witnessing firsthand the remarkable changes that took place over time.

With a sense of awe and amazement, the students marveled at the stark contrasts between each era and the modern world they know today. Highlights included holding the soft pelts of skunks and rabbits, learning about ancient hunting techniques, and discovering how clothing was crafted from natural resources.

After this immersive historical experience, the students ventured into the museum's exhibits, where they explored a variety of captivating displays. Although some exhibits were under construction, many students enjoyed the 3D movies featuring butterflies and prehistoric ice age giants, transporting them to different realms of nature and time.

However, the true highlight of the day was the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden, an immersive walkway and bridge system that allowed the students to observe Ohio's native wildlife up close. Coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and owls captured the imaginations of the young explorers, who couldn't help but linger at the otter exhibit and marvel at the majestic bald eagles.

Melinda Sawicki, a teacher at CFIS, expressed her enthusiasm for the field trip, stating, "This experience pairs perfectly with our science lessons on Native American life, fossils, and the changes our world has undergone through the ages. Seeing our students engage with history and nature in such an interactive way was truly rewarding."

The day concluded with the students enjoying a well-deserved meal together in the beautifully renovated lunchroom at the museum, sharing their excitement and newfound knowledge with their fellow classmates.

Through this educational adventure, the fourth graders of CFIS not only gained a deeper understanding of Ohio's rich heritage and natural wonders but also created lasting memories that will inspire their curiosity and love for learning.