Chesterton Tribune



2,000 CHS students to converge on National Park to learn, break world record

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Something like 2,000 students and teachers will deploy throughout the 15,000 acres of Indiana Dunes National Park on Tuesday, Sept. 17, for the purpose of studying, exploring, and volunteering.

This is the plan for a second “Dunes Day” field trip, and if over 1,872 students participate, it will break the Guinness World Record for largest field trip in the world, the National Park Service (NPS) said.

But Dunes Day 2019 is not just about breaking world records. “Instead, the idea behind this massive school field trip is simply to get students outdoors to learn from nature and to celebrate the fact that Indiana Dunes is now the 61st national park,” NPS said. “To that end, teams of teachers will be working alongside National Park Service staff and volunteers to lead various activities throughout the park. For example, five art teachers will work with NPS staff to create a natural sculpture on the beach, using found objects. Two science teachers and their students will work with a park resource manager to collect water samples and measure for dissolved oxygen, phosphorous and other indicators of water quality. The economics teachers will meet with tourism and park officials to look at the effects of tourism on the local economy. Approximately 45 groups of students will be dispersed throughout the entire park in this unique experiential project.”

Said CHS Principal Brent Martinson, “We are very excited to partner with Indiana Dunes National Park to give our students a learning experience that goes beyond the traditional classroom setting. Our students and staff are excited to participate in thisÊwhole-school field trip and learn more about our unique area. Our goal is to foster a positive climate and culture that will impact the students at Chesterton High School for years to come.”

Dunes Day is being supported in part by NPS and many of its partners in collaboration with CHS and the Duneland School Corporation. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce is also supporting the event by organizing the teams of monitors to make sure the world record is accurately counted.

“It is only through strong community partnerships that we are able to create such a positive experience for students,” Duneland Superintendent Dr. Chip Pettit said. “In collaboration with the Duneland Chamber of Commerce, Chesterton High School faculty, staff, and administration have done a wonderful job planning for this special event.”

For more information on this and other programs at Indiana Dunes National Park, call (219) 395-1882 or visit


Posted 9/9/2019




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