At 6:00 in the morning on April 4, 2012, ten Columbia Basin Secondary School 9th and 10th grade cohort students made their way onto the bus, ready to head over the mountains. Even though it was so early it was still dark out, you could feel the excitement in the air. After a quick stop for breakfast, the group was on their way, accompanied by Jen Ruiz, GEAR UP Lead Tutor, and Maria Hartman, GEAR UP Tutor. Arriving a bit ahead of schedule, the group’s first stop was the Art Institute of Seattle. Students received a presentation about what the Art Institute has to offer, followed by a tour of the campus. They were able to view the Culinary Arts students in action; in one kitchen pastries were being created, while in others, several other types of cuisine were being made. Art Institute students’ artwork was displayed throughout the campus, as well as apparel designed by the Fashion Design students. The GEAR UP students were excited to see what the Art Institute campus was like.
While waiting for lunch time, the group walked through Pike Place Market and watched the ferries and ships from the park overlooking the piers. Some students had never had the opportunity to visit the area, and were in awe of all the sights, sounds (and smells) the Market provided. After lunch at McDonalds near the Space Needle, the next stop was the Pacific Science Center. The GEAR UP students were able to experience science hands on by visiting the Science Center’s many exhibits ranging from dinosaurs to insects, and astronomy to volcanoes. The highlight of the trip for many of the students was the butterfly house. One even said: “I’ve been waiting to go to the butterfly house since I was in 5th grade! Now I’m finally here!!!”
After several hours at the Pacific Science Center then dinner, it was time to head back to Moses Lake. On the bus ride home, even after almost 16 hours of traveling and events, the attendees still had the energy to excitedly discuss their trip and what they learned. What a great way to spend a Spring Break day!