Lakeside science teacher headed to geology camp
Summer is often perceived as a time for teachers to relax and recuperate, but for Madalyn Culpepper, part of this summer will get a little rocky.
Culpepper, a biology and chemistry teacher at Lakeside Junior/Senior High School, has been chosen to attend G-Camp, a geology environmental workshop run by Texas A&M. Culpepper and 35 other science teachers from across the nation will travel through three states to study various geological formations.
“We’re stopping at at least 16 places along the way,” Culpepper said. “We’ll go to caverns, lava flows, different areas where fossils have been found, mineral dunes, a gold mine, and pretty much anything looking at the layers of the earth.”
A 2015 graduate of Louisiana Tech, Culpepper is the only Louisiana teacher selected for G-Camp from among 160 applicants.
“I love environmental science – that’s what I have my minor in,” she said. “I took a geology class for my biology degree, and from the first day of class I really enjoyed it and realized I had to study it more.”
The 20-day trip will loop from Texas to New Mexico to Colorado and back. A few stops include Black Canyon, Colorado National Park, the Dakota Wall, Carlsbad Caverns, and the Old Hundred Gold Mine.
Culpepper said she is looking forward to seeing land features she could not find in Louisiana.
“Louisiana, we have no elevation,” she said. “Everything is wet and swampy. So I’m ready to just to go to different areas, experience elevation, to see those layers of how the earth was formed, to see how gorges were formed, just basically any kind of information I can gain from being outside Louisiana.”
Culpepper will depart June 26 and return July 13. At the end of the day, the purpose of G-Camp is to help science teachers in the classroom. Teachers will be given the opportunity to develop new curriculum and virtual field trips for their students, and their new experiences can be shared more readily than something out of a textbook.
“The kids love to hear stories” Culpepper said. “They can learn way more from me sharing examples from personal pictures and videos rather than just reading it.