Student observing insects at Purchase Knob.

A field trip that has become a tradition for A.C. Reynolds Middle School is still going strong and giving students the ultimate hands-on science experience. Each fall, sixth graders embark on a journey to Purchase Knob, an educational learning center in the Great Smoky’s National Park. 

Students spend the day with National Park Rangers learning about the nature in Western North Carolina in a unique outdoor classroom. These young scientists learn about soil, macroinvertebrates, and nature drawings. 

“Purchase Knob is always a memorable field trip to share with the students,” said sixth grade science teacher Jennifer Williams. “The knob is closed to the public and only used for educational and research purposes. Most people don’t get to experience the breathtaking views this place has to offer.”

Ms. Williams says she always looks forward to this field trip. 

“For many students it’s an opportunity to experience nature,” she said. “Purchase Knob always brings students out of their comfort zone, and immerses students in a world of learning that cannot always be taught inside the classroom.”

Students and staff overlooking the valley that surrounds Purchase Knob.

Students studying the soil in the woods.