Monday, May 14, 2018

Peak Academy Enters ArcGIS Online Mapping Contest

Click the link below for Peak Academy's submission to Esri’s ArcGIS Online Mapping Contest for Colorado Middle and High School Students.



"In 2017 the Montrose County School District was awarded a 3M EcoGrant targeting the management of invasive plant species in our community. This grant was distributed among three schools; Columbine and Centennial Middle Schools as well as Peak Academy. The grant was then used to create STEM/Problem Based Learning (PBL) initiatives managing invasive plants. Peak Academy students have created a riparian restoration management plan for a fifteen-hectare site near the Uncompahgre River within the city limits of Montrose, CO. We are currently embarking on year one of a five-year plan. The following story map details the progress made this past school year."


Monday, March 19, 2018

Peak Students Use Drone and ArcGIS to Create a Map For Riparian Resource Management Plan

Check out this short overview of how Peak Virtual Academy students are using sUAS (drone) remote sensory data collection and combining it with Esri's ArcGIS tools to create a map for the Riparian Resource Management Plan as part of the 3M Grant Weed Warrior Initiative. The next step for these students (once they acquire more layers of data) is to produce an interactive story map. 


Thanks to Doug Eccher and his amazing students at Peak!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Peak Virtual Academy Students Investigate Soil Remediation Near the Uncompahgre River


The focus of this STEM/Problem-Based Learning Initiative is for students to determine if soil remediation near tamarisk plants would be necessary post removal prior to native plant reintroduction. Student findings were submitted to a panel of soil scientists for their review and feedback. The results of this work will be part of a “Riparian Restoration Management Plan” that will include removal and replacement of invasive plant species.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Columbine Middle School Students Investigate Invasive Species at Baldridge Park


Students at Columbine Middle School completed a problem-based investigation concerning invasive species at Baldridge Park (River Bottom). This investigation is a part of the Weed Warrior Program funded by 3M.

The overarching authentic problem was:
  • How can the public be informed of the invasive species issue affecting our community?
    • Each group was given a different target audience.
Students also needed to answer the following essential questions:

  • What is an invasive species?
  • Why should students care about invasive species?
  • How do invasive species affect the community, state, nation, and the world?




During the course of the investigation, students participated in a full day field experience at Baldridge Park. Students rotated to different stations to gather information and knowledge from a variety of professionals from our area. They saw how drones can be used to map an area, discovered how scientists estimate populations, and learned about local plants, birds, and other animals. Students learned from BLM and National Forest representatives, biologists/scientists, and other community members on how invasive weeds in the Montrose area are affecting the ecosystem, agriculture, and economy of our community.  




Students then presented their findings to a panel of parents and professionals at the Pavilion.