Student Scientists Trek to Natural Falls State Park

After traveling by bus on a winding road for close to two hours, Mrs. English’s 8th grade science students arrived at Natural Falls State Park. These student scientists then chose from four trails to explore. Some played it safe with the flat, prairie-like Ghost Coon trail or walked to the base of the waterfall along the stairs of Dripping Springs Trail. A few checked out the Fox Den, which featured a rock overhang and cavern. Others opted for the more daring 1.5 mile Bear Trail, which required jumping creeks and climbing on all fours up steep terrain.

2022 marked Mrs. English’s sixth field trip there. Seeing a post in 2014 about Natural Falls being one of the most beautiful State Parks in Oklahoma first inspired her to bring students there. She saw it as a perfect way to experience Science and the natural world in an informal, fun manner.

“I am always up for adventure and helping my students to experience new things, so I planned a trip as quickly as I could,” Mrs. English said. “Ultimately, it’s all about getting more people excited about science!”

Stefani Morales enjoyed seeing the waterfalls.

“They were so pretty, and I liked being able to enjoy the waterfalls with some friends,” Stefani said.

Hailey Lopez appreciated getting to hang out at the bridge with friends Alexis ? and Juliette Barbosa.

“We took photos and talked about special moments in our lives,” Hailey said.

Sulemma Castillo liked playing on the playground with Hailey, Juliet, Caroline McKinney, Angelina Manylath.

“It was really fun listening to music and swinging on the swings with everybody,” Sulemma said.

Going in to the woods and getting lost with friends stood out to Jacqueline Mancia.

“It was also fun when they abandoned me to go get lost once again,” Jacqueline said.

Aside from waterfalls and hiking trails, the students also ate a picnic lunch of hotdogs grilled by Mrs. English’s parents, Jim and Gail Clayton, chips, cookies, and drinks. They have enjoyed watching the kids have a good time at the park over the years.

Seeing students navigate their way down the steep, rocky Bear Trail without much to hold on to was Mrs. English’s favorite part of the trip.

“Several of us had to scoot down on our rear ends because rain had washed a lot of the trail out,” Mrs. English said. “We made it to the bottom without a scratch, even though our pride was a bit tarnished!”

Mrs. English