For a look at what goes on at the Casper Mountain Science School on a beautiful fall day with 8th graders helping teach 2nd graders about science, check out this story:
What is the CMSS?
- Casper Mountain Science School (CMSS) is a new opportunity for students to experience science in a unique and fun way – the outdoors. CMSS is a science-based, multidisciplinary program where knowledge is interwoven with Wyoming's ecology. Students come to understand the many relationships between themselves and our geology, biology, climate, and history that create our unique landscape.
- Learning at CMSS is based on objective curricula that encompass inquiry, discovery, and problem solving strategies. It encourages students to ask questions, find answers, arrive at their own conclusions, and be reflective about their own learning.
- The science school is located near Casper, Wyoming on Casper Mountain at Camp Sacajawea. Sessions are held during the academic school year, September through May. Sessions can run from one to four days in length during the Fall and Spring Semesters.
- CMSS is a partnership between Natrona County School District, Casper College, University of Wyoming at Casper and BOCES.
Students K-12 can benefit from Casper Mountain Science School, and will be provided with enrichment programs outside the classroom that meet state standards. The enrichment programs will help these students in choosing their academic paths.
College students, either science or education majors, are trained to serve as instructors at Casper Mountain Science School. These college students and future educators gain experience in outdoor, multidisciplinary, and inquire based teaching, by expanding their vision of what teaching is and can be.
Current teachers can benefit from this program by learning more about local ecology and through in-service workshops.
The program at Casper Mountain Science School is based on the Wyoming State Science Standards and the NCSD Essential Curriculum with a focus on inquiry, discovery, problem solving and reflection. It will help students gain an awareness of the natural world, build leadership skills, encourage responsibility, and raise respect for their local surroundings.
Here is some helpful information and things you should know about your experience at Casper Mountain Science
Camp Sacajawea is located on the west end of Casper Mountain. It is south and west of Hogadon Ski area. The camp is nestled in a stand of pine trees. The elevation is about 7,900 feet. The weather on the mountain will be cooler than lower elevation areas. There is always a chance of cold rains and snow. The nights will be chilly and days may be cool to occasionally warm. In the winter months it is cold and snowy. Most of the day, you will be outside conducting investigations. Very seldom will you be inside. Students should dress for a variety of weather conditions. Dressing in layers is a good idea. We ask that you don't bring any electronic games, ipods or Mp3 players. It is our goal to get you away from technology and enjoy the quiet of nature. It is best to keep your cell phone at home. If you decided to bring a phone it is at your own risk. Cell phones will be kept in the yurts during the day and can only be used in the evening. There is a phone at Camp Sacagawea for emergency use only.
Food and Lodging
You will stay in yurts (cabin like tents). The yurts are equipped with bunk beds and wood stoves but are rustic with relatively few amenities. There are restrooms and showers in the main lodge. Students will have beds but should bring their own sleeping bag and pillow. If you don't have some of the required equipment, we might have what you need available for check-out. Check with us first before you go out and buy any equipment. Chaperones will stay with the students in the yurts. Meals are served in the lodge. Everyone is expected to help with clean-up following meals. Students should let CMSS staff know of any medications and/or special dietary needs one week prior to camp. Food is not allowed in the yurts.
Each day students will work in small groups (six to ten students) with a teacher doing science activities outside including plant and animal investigations. Evening programs include astronomy, music and crafts.