Wolf Ridge Programs Get Big Boost from Cliffs

Posted at: 02/05/2013 10:55 PM
By: Dayna Landgrebe

A big donation by an area mining company is beefing up science programs at Wolf Ridge for area high schools.

On Tuesday, Cliffs Natural Resources donated $15,000 to the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center. The presentation happened at Denfeld High School in Duluth.

Denfeld science teacher and Wolf Ridge educator Alison Wood said funding like this allows kids who wouldn't normally participate in-after school programs to get some hands-on learning.

"Most of the reason schools don't do hands-on things any more is because they cost money and it gets expensive. So this will allow us to do what a lot of classrooms can't do anymore, but we do it through our after school program," Wood said.

She said the Wolf Ridge programs also speak to kids who just plain love science. The group does a number of weekend overnight retreats with a culmination being a three-week academic science camp over the summer.

"When you would tell someone that they're going to do an entire research project on water quality, they would look as if you're crazy. But when they go and do it, and they're in a canoe and they're learning about it hands-on... even the students who are the shiest or the quietest students will definitely shine."

Cliffs Natural Resources also said the contribution will help make the Wolf Ridge excursions possible for low-income 9th and 10th graders in the Duluth School District.