Monday, January 14, 2019

"Peak students removing harmful invasive plants" Daily Press Article

Check out the great Montrose Daily Press article about Doug Eccher's Peak students working on removing invasive plants and replacing with native species as part of the 3M Eco Grant's Weed Warrior Initiative. Peak is planning a community volunteer day in April to collaborate with the community on removing invasive plants along the Uncompahgre River. More details to come soon!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Peak Academy Junior Sam Green Wins 2018 ArcGIS Online Mapping Contest

Congratulations to Sam Green of Peak Virtual Academy, the ArcGIS Online Mapping Contest Colorado State winner! MCSD is very proud of your accomplishment, which took dedication, hard work and lots of problem-solving!

Sam Green, a junior at Peak Academy has won the 2018 ArcGIS Online Mapping Contest for US high school students for Colorado. Sam’s entry titled “Riparian Restoration Management Plan” was submitted to the State Leadership Team for judging. The five best submissions are recognized by the State and the best of those five moves on to compete in the National Competition. Sam’s work was chosen to represent Colorado versus twenty seven other States.
Check out Sam's ArcGIS Story Map

For Sam to successfully complete this STEM/Problem Based Learning initiative special thanks goes out to:

The students at Peak Academy that helped do research and collect data. The staff and administration of Peak Academy. Their help creating the time and resources needed for implementing this STEM/PBL was essential.

The Montrose County School District. Their commitment to STEM and Problem Based Learning Initiatives made all of this possible. Without this directive this would not have happened.

Our Community Partners:
The 3M Corporation – They supplied funding via a 3M EcoGrant
Justin Musser – Montrose County Ecological Services Manager
David Sinton – BLM GIS Specialist
Lisa Goetsch – Montrose County GIS Coordinator
Dr. Phillip Crossley – Western State Colorado University
Dr. Tammy Parece – Colorado Mesa University
Dr. John McGee – Virginia Tech
And everyone else that offered advice and technical expertise on how to not only build the story map but design and implement the management plan.

Check out the Montrose Daily Press article below:

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.