Field trip

Pictured are ornaments freshly decorated by students from Oregon Connections Academy, who took a field trip to downtown Coos Bay's Pottery Co. last Friday.

COOS BAY — As the storm raged Friday, students from Oregon Connections Academy decorated ornaments inside Coos Bay’s Pottery Co.

“We wanted to do something holiday-themed,” said Paula Leifer, high school math teacher with the state’s leading online public school. “It was a pseudo field trip and Christmas party for our students.”

Oregon Connections Academy students spent their morning last Friday, Dec. 14 decorating Christmas ornaments during a field trip to the Pottery…

Oregon Connections Academy serves close to 4,200 students throughout the state every year and hosts around 200 field trips and events to enhance real-world learning, but also to encourage socialization for students.

For the field trip on Friday, Leifer said 12 students attended. Some brought siblings, bringing the count to 15 children.

“They decorated ornaments, parents decorated as well, we got a history of the store and the entrepreneurial spirit behind it,” she said.

Not only that, but she and the students learned how kilns work and about the glazing process on ceramic goods, which begins as a powdery-paste painted onto the clay. After being fired in the kiln, the ornaments or mugs come out colorful and with a glossy shine.

“There was a teeny-tiny boy, not yet in kindergarten, who made three ornaments and was adamant that he wanted one to be a black Christmas tree,” Leifer laughed.

This marked the second field trip to the Pottery Co. for local Oregon Connections Academy students, Leifer said. However, it had been close to three years since their last visit.

“They seemed to have fun,” Leifer said. “We had students from kindergarten to a senior in high school and I heard only positive feedback from them.”

Reporter Jillian Ward can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or by email at jillian.ward@theworldlink.com. Follow her on Twitter: @JE_Wardwriter.