Executives from Amazon, Google, Facebook and other major technology companies will meet with female students interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics Wednesday morning, as one of a series of roundtables hosted by the House Republican Conference and its chairwoman, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) …
Today, at a private meeting in the West Wing of the White House, US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, Deputy US Chief Technology Officer Jen Pahlka, and other senior Obama Administration officials specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), met with five inspiring young women to discuss academic and career pathways in STEM—and barriers to the involvement of girls in those fields. The students were past winners and current finalists of the annual Google Science Fair—an online science competition open to high-school-aged students that solicits “ideas that will change the world.” …
Eight Catlin Middle Schoolers met up Saturday evening with recent grad Chris Reimann, Senior Hannah Skutt and two other trip leaders for a quick climbing trip. We drove out to the Salmon River where we camped overlooking the water, went for a night dip, had a fire, ate kettle corn and m and m’s got outfitted for an early start and slept under the stars.
Sunday morning we got up early, had breakfast and drove to French’s Dome. When we arrived we had the whole place to ourselves. Sam and Chris put up routes and Renee showed students the basics of climbing. Soon we were doing climbs, cheering one another on and were joined by another leader, allowing us to do even more climbing! After a few hours, we took a lunch break and moved our operation over to Salmon River Slab where some students climbed and others swam in the cool Salmon River. Soon we were all enjoying the river. Cooled off, happy from climbing, and content we loaded up and headed to Calamity Jane’s for burgers before heading back to school. Our mini trip felt like the perfect mid summer adventure!
After a long bus ride (4.5 hours) and an early start (7:30am) the bus arrived in Anacortes. Students bid auto travel farewell and got on the 2pm ferry to Friday Harbor. Renee met them at the dock and we were all whisked away to Jackson beach where the boats were ready to go. We had a kayak class, loaded our boats, checked the map, and hit the water by 5. We caught an incoming tide up to Turn Island and after a long day and many modes of travel we were “home!”
Turn Island is over run with raccoons and students brainstormed ways of fixing the infestation. The winning idea was a “coon-cannon” which would catapult them into the water. After some unsuccessful attempts at launching raccoons we enjoyed an evening of talking on the rocks, a tasty mexican fiesta, and getting lulled to sleep under the stars to the sound of scampering critters.
Saturday morning was an early wake up so we could catch the turning tide at 7:30 am. Students were champs and everyone was ready to go by 7:30 and we were on the water headed north. We made an easy crossing of San Juan Channel with views North to Canada!
We got to Yellow Island which we re-named Yololand and while we waited for the caretaker to invite us ashore we rafted up and ate a melon. We explored the Nature Conservancy’s Yololand and found a pristine beach where we rested, swam, chatted, got burried in pebbles, and pretended we were in the tropics. Refreshed we hopped back in our boats and paddled to Jones Island where we explored the island, saw a bunch of porpoises, got water, explored tidepools, played games, had a group Uno game, and enjoyed the most gorgeous campsite overlooking San Juan Channel! We slept under the stars bellies full of s’mores and tin foil packet stews.
Sunday we got to sleep in until the sun found us. Captain Peter navigates our way to Blind Island where we met a camp group who was in one of the sites. We explored the tidepools and set up camp before kayaking over to Shaw for Ice Cream and a walk. On Shaw we learned someone had left a bag on our Island and Andrew and Renee went back to get it. Back on Shaw, yet another group of kids had moved in and we invited them all to play a gigantic game for sardines that evening!
After dinner we met the other kids and had a great game. Catlin kids were gregarious and welcoming and fun was had by all. As it got dark we got ready for our nigh kayak. We paddled into the bay and the bioluminesent plankton lit up with every paddle stroke. It got brighter and brighter and was truly magical! As we got closer to our Island we shined our lights into the water to see what we could attract. At first it was just tiny worms but before long giant 2 foot polychete worms that looked like giant swimming centipedes were swimming up from the depths to check us out. Both fascinated and scarred we returned to Blind Island and a restful sleep over the water.
Monday we left Blind Island at 11, well fed, rested, and ready to paddly around Shaw. We kayaked to Indian Cove and played on the sandy beach, ate lunch and swam, before loading back up to cross San Juan Chanel again. We had to paddle far north on Shaw because the currents pulling south were strong and we weren’t ready to go back to Portland yet. We made the crossing and sang at the tops of our lungs as we battled the currents and and were finally back at Turn Island. We were greeted by our raccoon friends and set up a beautiful camp on the beach. We cleaned up our boats, made dinner, and invented many desserts from our leftovers before heading across the island for some log throwing and exploration.
The next morning we packed up, made a quick crossing to San Juan Island, met Tim, got all loaded up and were on the 3:50 Ferry in no time. Larry was a champ driving the bus back to Catlin with a stop at Burgerville before a 9pm arrival back at school.
We began our journey bright an early at 7:30am, embarking on our 4.5 hour drive north to Anacortes on the bus. Leroy did a great job driving us north with perfectly timed stops and a spot on arrival at the ferry terminal. Off the bus we were faced with the task of carrying all our gear, food, and food and gear for the second trip onto the boat. The nice folks from the coffee shop lent us a hand cart and we were quite a sight schlepping aboard the ferry!
The ride was gorgeous! That there seemed to be only teenagers on the boat was our first clue that we were entering summer-camp-land and in no time we docked in Friday Harbor, met Tim (the rental boat man) and headed to his shop to get the boats. We were packed and on the water by 6:30pm and bid adieu to Tim as we made our way south to Griffin Bay Kayak Campground.
While making BLTs for dinner we heard our neighbors playing catch phrase and we joined in over the bushes. Soon they brought it over and we had a great time playing the guessing game all together as the sun went down over the water.
Sunday morning we woke to mists and met our other neighbors who’s mom went to Miss Catlin’s school back in the day! Small world! We got loaded up and on the water and spotted moon jellies, seals, and beautiful red jelly fish as we made our way north to Turn Island, a small nature island we’d lunch on before our channel crossing. We stopped on the island, went on a little hike, met some raccoon thiefs, and plotted our crossing of the channel.
We waited for ferry traffic to clear and began the crossing. Being a weekend there were lots of pleasure boaters around and we had to keep paddling to stay balanced in the wake and get across without diverting ferry traffic. Going up and down the waves “armada style” while Kyle whooped and hollered made the crossing quite fun.
Safely across we made our way North to stop on Yellow Island, a nature conservancy Island where we hiked and swam before loading up and heading north to Jones Island where we made camp. On Jones we explored, found terrifying sea creatures, played games, refreshed our fresh water supply and ate s’mores at a gorgeous campsite overlooking the channel.
Monday was a sunny dry morning and due to the tides we got to have a lazy morning together watching the water change and chatting over breakfast and cocoa. Once the tide began to recede we caught the current and paddled to Blind Island, a tiny Island in Blind Bay across from the Shaw Island ferry terminal. We got there around lunch time and spent the afternoon exploring tidepools, practicing kayak self-rescue in the bay, and then paddling all together over to the Shaw Island Store for Ice cream!
When we got back we caught a red rock crab and decided to add it to our dinner. The students cooked, cleaned, and enjoyed the crab. Maddy even ate the heart! The best part! We made a no bake cake and the Juniors brought a tart to our new Island neighbors who had arrived while we were away. While we waited for it to get dark we played sardines and after the sun set we went for a night paddle in the bay where we enjoyed bioluminescent plankton, sneaking around all the sleeping sailboats, and the peacefulness of being on the water at night!
Tuesday was a misty morning and we decided to do a by land or by sea challenge. We paddled half the group to Shaw Island and the other half took the boats in a foot vs. Paddle race around the Island. In the boats we met a strong head wind and lost the race by a few hours. The land crew found sculptures, baby deer, and the 9th graders basked in their Island fame and were recognized from the 8th grade play! We all got to watch bald eagles hunting and all met up at sandy Indian Cove. The land crew presented us with the gift a a polychete worm in a shell. So kind! Indian Cove was full of campers so we caught a tide across the channel to Odlin County Park on Lopez Island were we got a campsite for our last night.
Our last night was games around the fire, volleyball, and sleeping under stars. Mornign found us too soon and paddled back to Griffin bay where we met Tim, washed and unloaded boats, and headed to Friday Harbor for Ice Cream and farewells before a ferry ride and long bus ride back to Catlin.
The greatest cragging and crack climbing in North America is found at City of Rocks Idaho. Seventeen students and five leaders made the lengthy one-day drive for a climbing adventure this past June.
The group camped at a few sites clustered together just below the pass. Each day we would rise with the sun, have a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs, and then walk or ride in the vans to the various granite rocks in the area. Students who had completed the school's "leading on Rock" course were often allowed to put up routes. The weather was generally quite nice, with a few showers on Monday and some excess heat on Thursday. Students shared resposnsibiliyy for meal preparation and cleanup while in camp.
Students made tremendous progress in their climbing skills, finishing climbs ranging difficulty from 5.6 to 5.11c. The week was capped with a remarkable talent show around the campfire on the last evening.
A thirty mile backpack trip through the rugged North Cascades proved to be a challenging and memorable adventure for seven students and two leaders earlier this month. The loaction chosen for the epic struggle between man and nature was the Glacier Peak Wilderness, which lies north of Mt. Rainier and south of Mt. Baker.
We drove to the trailhead in two black SUVs on a sunny Monday morning in very early July. The hike begins at the end of an old logging road up the North Fork of the Sauk River. Once here, the group split up all the gear and the food and loaded it into their backpacks and then started walking south up the well graded trail along the raging river. After an hour of hiking the trail split, with the left trail heading up to White Pass and the right trail turning west and ascending Pilot Ridge. We took the Pilot Ridge trail, which required us to cross the river first. The log normally used for this task was partly submerged in the rushing waters so we headed upstream and eventually were able to find a few old growth logs. The leaders set up the rope to act as a handline and each of the students made it across while the leaders transported their packs over the worst section. Once across the river it was now late afternoon and we began the 3000+ foot climb through the forest to the top of Pilot Ridge. The trail was pretty good, though we lost it at the 4500 foot level when we hit our first snow of the trip. We would be destined to spend the next four days hiking through snow for the great majority of each day. Part way up the hill we passed by decent campsite hoping to get one with a view higher up. The struggle was great, but by 8:00 pm we were on top of the ridge and found an expansive snow field on the very crest of the ridge that would serve as our resting place for the night.On the second day we got a late start and began our actual traverse of the length of ghe ridge, which actually encircles the entire watershed of the river below. We foiund ourselves walkinhg along flower covered hillsides with the most unbelievable view all around us. We would see north to Mt. Baker and south to Mt Adams. At any given time there were 30-50 dramatic North Cascade peaks surrounding us. The students were captivated by the constantly changing and dramatic views. Toward the end of the day while crossing a large headwall we came to some sketchy ground where we decided to set up a rope and belay students individually across. While this took over two additional hours to accomplish, we did manage to get everyone across safely. That night we dropped down to Blue Lake, which has an eerie other-wrodly aspect because of its cold visage, being snow covered and hidden in a glacier cut cirque. We built a campfire towarm ourselves and had a good night.
In the morning we made a decision to take the Blue Lake High Trail. The trail was as steep as it gets, but soon enough we found ourselves back in the sun, and traversed the snowy slopes to Dishpan Gap. Our trail meets the Pacific Crest Trail at this point, and from here on we were on a higher quality trail, though still snow covered eighty percent of the time. The kids were loving the adventure and we all took turns leading. Around Kodak Peak we hiked and then down to Indian Pass. We had some trouble finding the trail from the pass but after some steep bushwhacking we came across it and hiked the final two miles to a spectacular campsite at Reflection Pond. That evening we had another great meal and celebrated independence day with patriotic dances. Thursday found us up extra early and heading north toward White Pass. After a long rest we decided to climb White Mountain, so we left our packs by the trail and made the ascent of the 7042' peak in about an hour. The views were incredible! Pop tarts were a nice summit treat. Once back at our packs we hiked down, down, down to the Sauk River again and a nice campsite at Mackinaw Shelter. The next day, our final day, we hiked the easy 5.5 miles north to the trailhead.
Truly one of the best trips in the history of the program! A great group and scenery that cannot be beat.
Students in PLACE, Catlin Gabel's urban studies program, are now blogging about their experiences as they learn about how our city works. One of their summer projects for these 19 students from six area high schools is designing a neighborhood greenway for the Pearl District for their clients, Portland's Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability, and Transportation. They are also studying Portland's Cully district. The students have written thoughful reflections about the program and their discoveries so far and will continue throughout the project. A fun read!
The principal of an urban design firm, Terra Fluxus, also wrote about his time with PLACE students on their blog.
8 adventuresome students met at Catlin Tuesday in the morning drizzle with full backpacks and a hunger for sunny summer adventure. We headed down to the shed where we checked and packed our gear and food and hopped on the bus. Our rental vehicle which was to set our shuttle broke down en route across campus and we opted for a one bus adventure. We hit the road, packs ready, and drove south into ominous rainy skies on a mission for sunny river summer times. Once we passed Roseburg the clouds lifted and though the evening was cloudy it was dry. We pulled into the parking area for Toketee falls around five. Toketee Falls is a huge 2 tiered waterfall through massive basalt columns unlike anything we’d seen before. We brought our stove and dinner things and made a dinner picnic on the tree house like viewing platform above the falls. We played games over dinner and settled into our new group.
We washed up in the leaks off a wooden flume and well fed we headed to the trailhead. We had decided to kick off our trip with a night hike to the hot springs! Packs on and headlamps at the ready we were finally beginning our backpacking trip up the North Umpqua Trail! About 2 miles in we came to a river crossing and practiced group crossing techniques and rewarded ourselves with sour patch kids before turning on our headlamps and hiking through the dusk towards the springs.
The final 1200 feet up the the pools was on rocks and we helped one another up before taking a second a the top to turn out our lights, listen to the river below, and marvel at the quiet beauty around us. For many it was their first night hike and we all enjoyed the magic and tranquility of it. Umpqua Hot Springs is a series of cascading pools on a cliff overlooking the North Umpqua River. There was no better way to finish our day and to kick off our trip than by soaking in the night above the river in the hot waters before tucking into our sleeping bags.
The morning found us with drizzly weather, we ate and hit the trail again, searching for sunnier skies. As the day continued the rains lifted and we passed numerous waterfalls before setting camp in the afternoon next to he river. We spent the afternoon swimming, exploring, playing games, having a fiesta, and enjoying the fire before bed.
Thursday we woke up to blue skies and warming temperatures! We decided as a group we’d like the challenge of trying to get all the way to Lemolo Lake, a 10 mile uphill challenge! We packed up after breakfast and started the day with solo hiking. Hikers were spaced at 5 minute intervals along the very obvious trail and all enjoyed the peacefulness of being silent and setting one’s own pace under the canopy of forest with the sunshine dappling through. We re-joined one another and the forest was filled with conversation, laughter, and singing. We decided to do a second solo section after lunch. At this point the day was getting hotter and the trail was getting steeper. Students got to push themselves alone through this segment and when we re-grouped students decided that getting through challenges is much easier with the group. We recovered with more sour patch kids and once again conversation and song filled the forest. We were overjoyed when we finally came to the bridge that marked 7 miles, we were elated when we got to Lemolo Falls marking 8 miles, and words cannot describe the joy shared when we got to the dam at Lemolo Lake and gazed across at Mt Theilsen, the “lightning rod of the Cascades.” Renee scampered ahead and met the group with Chips and Cookies from the Lodge and we set up camp at Poole Creek. While Colin and the students got to know our new Mosquito neighbors, Renee headed down to pick up our bus and bring it back to the Lake.
Our last night was enjoyed around the campfire with reflections on our adventure and a huge sense of accomplishment shared by all.
Friday morning we got up and walked to Lemolo Lodge for a pampered breakfast out. We ate pancakes, and eggs, and bacon together and then packed up camp to escape the mosquitos and make our way back home. We stopped en route to a refreshing swim in the river and got back to Catlin and our waiting parents at 5:45pm to bid farewell, see you next fall, and good job to our new friends.
For some it was their first backpacking trip and we got to try many kinds of hiking: alone, group, night, day, rain, and shine. The group was fantastic and new friends were made. We found summer! Congratulations to Ben, Hannah, Jack, Kallan, Emma, Lily, Andie, and Isaiah!
Friday morning eight summer fresh Middle School Students met at Catlin to kick off summer with a backpacking trip to Washington’s Goat Rocks. After packing up and checking all our gear we hit the road and drove north and east to the extinct volcano between St Helens, Adams, and Rainier. When we neared the trailhead we ran into snow in the road so we parked and began our trek.
The first part of the trail was soft pine covered path with many little waterfalls, beautiful huge trees, and incredible views of the peaks. After a couple miles we hit snow and had to use our snow navigation skills to stay on the trail. Climbing higher we found a place with less snow by a beautiful lake where we set up camp for the night. We dined on burritos, hung up our food, explored the lake, and enjoyed a fire on our first night with new and old friends.
After a good nights sleep we woke to bird song and no rain. We packed up, ate breakfast, and had a group meeting about our route which was inevitably going to get snowier and snowier. We opted to carry on and see how far we could get, knowing we could always come back and camp at a lower elevation. We set our sights on Snowgrass Flats.
We worked hard to get there and ended up kicking steps in the snow towards the end, but we made it to Snowgrass Flats, a wide open beautiful snow covered basin. Here we made a sledding track, put garbage bags on and did some epic sledding!
We decided not to continue up at this point due to the increasing snow levels, and students did the navigation as a group to get back to find the trail. We camped near the river in a snow free glade.
That afternoon we played camouflage, dried our socks like s’mores by the fire, and spent the evening laughing, eating mac and cheese, and playing games around the fire.
On our final morning we woke up to drizzle and an intrepid group of Renee, Ellie, Mia, and Culla hiked back up to Snowgrass flats where we had lost some tent poles off of a bag. Tent pole mission successful, we rejoined the group all warmed up for the hike back together. Chatting along the trail made quick work of our return to the bus where we loaded up and headed down the road to a nicer picnic spot.
Around 1 we stopped, changed, re-organized our gear, and had lunch before loading up for the long drive home. We got back to Catlin at 5 and stopped at the gear shed to hang up wet gear and clean the bus. We met parents and older, wiser, more relaxed, and accomplished group at 5:20 to say goodbye.
Eight students and two leaders made a challenging ascent of the Northeast face of the South Sister in mid-June of this year. Starting from the Green Lakes trailhead along the Cascade Lakes Highway the team hiked, mostly in snow, to a camp next to Green Lake. The students were awed by the scenery and had the whole area to themselves. Starting early on Monday morning the group circumnavigated the lake and climbed the mountain's eastern flank before dropping on to the Prouty Glacier. Two rope teams were assembled and using crampons the group made its way up the steepening slope to the headwall that blocks access to the summit from this side. With care (and ropes and protection) the team ascended the short rock and ice pitch onto the summit slopes above. Led by one of the more experienced students the team arrived at the summit just before noon. The weather was good enough to allow for a leisurely stay on top before a fun glissade descent down the mountain's more commonly climbed southern slopes. That evening was spent around the stoves swapping tales and sharing good memories.
Catlin Gabel student will represent the U.S. at the International Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition in Sweden
The forecasts spoke of rain and lightning but turned out wrong, we couldn’t have had better weather for this year’s graduating 8th graders St Helens Climb. After showering fathers with love for Fathers Day we met up at Catlin at noon for our epic adventure. A short 1.5 hour drive brought us to the Lone Fir in Cougar WA where we picked up our permits and signed the climbers registry before continuing on to Marble Mountain Sno Park. The usual summer route from the Climbers Bivouac hadn’t opened yet so we used the winter route up Worm Flows which starts at Marble Mountain. We found lovely shady tent sites off the parking lot, did some nesting, and took inventory of our gear. We put on our mountaineering boots, gaiters, and strapped our ice axes to our bags for our leg stretching day hike up to the tree line in search of snow where we planned to learn to wield our ice axes and travel on snow safely. The snow line eluded us after an hour of hiking so we stopped at a tiny patch and had mini-intro-snow-school before returning to camp. It was a good little hike where we were able to identify any snafus with our gear and make the necessary adjustments.
Back at camp, over personal pizzas and caesar salads we talked about our goals and fears and went to bed excited and happy to all be on the same page. We agreed we all needed to feel safe asking for breaks, check in with one another, encourage each other, be proud to have come as far as we have and that attitude, not altitude is everything.
5am came quickly and we woke up with the birds and dawn light to a breakfast of croissants and toppings. We packed up efficiently and hit the trail. It was shockingly easier than the day before and we were quickly up to the timberline. The group did an great job sticking together and taking care of one another as we began scrambling up the boulders and soft ash via Worm Flows. At the top of the boulders we began our traverse over to Monitor Ridge where we were able to navigate easily with our map and the majestic Monitor Rock. We finally hit Swift Glacier and our earnest snow travel was to begin.
We took some time for real snow school where we practiced glissading, self arrest, plunge stepping, kicking steps, and got comfortable in the snow. It was a steep climb up to the ridge and students rallied and encouraged one another kicking steps and counting steps and rests enthusiastically. The view got better and better until we could look down on the clouds and watch the sun dance across Oregon and Washington below us.
Finally, 8 hours after beginning we summited! A cloud blew in and wind kicked up as we high fived, took pictures, and minded the cornice. After all that work, all that middle school, everything, we had four determined and successful new mountaineers!
Then it was time for the best part. Glissading down. We put on our garbage bag diapers, made our way over to a nicely shaped glissade track, prepped ourselves for self arrest and were able to glissade, in about an hour, what took us almost 6 hours to climb! It was truly magical looking out over Oregon, sledding down the side of St Helens, with friends right in front and behind us hooting and laughing. For the rest of our lives, we'll gaze up at the snowy parts of St Helens from Portland and remember that we slid down all that snow on our (as Emily says) patooties.
After the incredible descent, recharged with some sour patch kids, we began our hike out through the forest arriving at the bus around 6pm.
We packed up, stopped in Cougar to let them know we made it, and ate burgers and milkshakes at Burgerville. On our way home we sang to the radio and got to see a beautiful rainbow stretch over Portland as we entered the city! We were back in Portland at 9:25pm.
We are so proud of these climbers. Not only did they support one another, they chose to challenge themselves, try something new, maintained amazing attitudes, and set an incredible course for their upper school careers ahead. Congratulations Liam, Claire, Emily, and Miguel!
On another gorgeous Portland morning as the sun was just beginning to heat up the day, Brendan and Leroy met our surfing students at Catlin and headed out to Cannon Beach. They rolled into Cleanline Surf Shop, met Renee, and got all set up with wetsuits, booties, and hoods. Lexie and NW Women’s Surf Camps instructors met us at the surf shop and we caravanned as our anticipation built to Short Sands Beach in Oswald West State Park. The hike to the beach is a gorgeous 3/4 mile walk through beautiful forest. We buddied up and carrying our boards, followed the cool Short Sands Stream down to the ocean.
We paused at the overlook above the beach and learned about the history of the park and how to read the waves, check the tides, find optimal surf conditions, spot the rip-tides, and decide where to surf. Feeling smart we schlepped our gear across the sunny beach to the north end where we set up our spot, and learned the basics of paddling out, catching waves, popping up, wiping out, and staying balanced on our boards. It was finally time to get in the water!
It couldn’t be a more gorgeous sunny day! The surf was perfect for us with medium waves and NW winds. We stayed on the inside and had an amazing afternoon catching waves! Everyone caught waves!
Around 2:30 we were wiped and climbed out to snack, explore and hydrate before making the hike back up the hill with our gear to the bus. Salty and happy we returned to Cannon beach, returned our gear, and enjoyed fresh fish n chips and a trip to the candy shop.
By the end of the day we all wished we could stay longer but we hit the road and drove away from the setting sun and were back at Catlin around 7pm.
Anirudh received a $10,000 college scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Stockholm, Sweden, in September to represent the United States and compete with students from around the globe for the international Junior Stockholm Water Prize.
He was selected for the prize based on his science project “Sulfidation as a Novel Method for Reducing Toxicity of Silver Nanoparticle Pollution.”
The Stockholm Junior Water Prize is the world's most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project. The prize taps into the potential of today's high school students as they seek to address current and future water challenges.
Logan Smesrud '12 was one of six freshmen at Oregon State University to receive the Waldo Cummings Freshman Outstanding Student Award. She is a pre-environmental engineering major.