by Kathryn Courtney
When I found out our class was taking a field trip, I was very excited. It reminded me of middle school when we took field trips all the time. Going to different places that I never been before and taking the learning environment somewhere else besides the same old same boring room, intrigues me. While on field trips in middle school, I was a lot more engaged and involved in the material presented. Once we went to a museum and the teacher gave us headphones to listen to all the different types of stories in history. At that point in time in the museum, history was my favorite subject.
My science communication course took a field trip to the the Vincent A. Forte River and Coastal Engineering Research Laboratory. Before this course, I never heard of this research laboratory. Just like in middle school, I was excited to take the learning environment elsewhere. In the research laboratory is a small-scale physical model (SSPM) representing the lower 80 miles of the Mississippi River. Clinton Wilson, Ph.D in Civil Engineering, told the class about this model. Students at Louisiana State University run experiments on the SSPM to determine where sediments disperse and the river flow of the Mississippi River.
Listening to Wilson about the small scale model was very engaging. Once he stopped talking, we got a closer look at the model and could feel the black sand, which represents the sediments flowing through the river.
In the future, the model will be doubled and placed in a new facility, the Baton Rouge Water Campus. When this facility is open for visitors, I will take a field trip to the Baton Rouge Water Campus and visit the newly renovated model of the Mississippi River.