This has been a big season for field trips. PS 116 of Manhattan sent 4th and 5th graders with their enthusiastic leader, Michelle Yonkell. These kids know a lot about the water system of New York - enough to keep us on our toes with accurate facts. After seeing the movie and listening to Mavis' stories about John Jervis, the kids had to test the echo in the tunnel and hunt for bats. They went back to the city wearing their Aqueduct bracelets and armed with a fact sheet.
Columbia Middle School's math and science class came with their teacher Andrew Stillman. These 7th graders went first to the dam where Carl Grimm gave them the history of the Dam and its construction and then, we must admit, encouraged them to wade in the gorge. A few spills on wet stones were the best part of the day,we suspect, but they listened attentively to Mavis Cain giving them a dose of Aqueduct History.
Mott Hall 11, a school in upper Manhattan, sent 100 students, all 7th graders. They arrived at the Dam in two huge buses that couldn't seem to navigate the road down to the Center in Ossining. So Carl Grimm and Mavis gave the history lesson standing on picnic tables. Here are some of the comments from the students:
"My experience at the Dam was great. I never thought I would have the pleasure to take a short hike and see the beautiful view of the Dam."
"The information you guys gave us was fascinating - especially the part about the parade in New York (to celebrate the arrival of Croton Water) and the way the people drank Croton Highballs and ate sandwiches. I also enjoyed the chance to get my feet wet. It was fun!"
And let's hope it was instructive, too.