Thanks to technology, a principal discovered it was possible to have her students accompany a Kilimanjaro climber via teleconference. Even more special was the fact that the climber was her son.
Michael Diehl decided to take time from work and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and his mother, Principal Elaine Justice of Queens Creek Elementary School saw a great opportunity for her students to learn about the climb and the mountain. Through teleconferencing, several classrooms of students made the climb along with Diehl.
Queens Creek students and fourth graders from Clyde Erwin Elementary Magnet School followed Diehl’s trip. They were able to interact with the Navy veteran who works overseas.
“When Mrs. Justice found out Michael was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, she knew what a great experience this could be for QCE students,” said Queens Creek assistant principal Cathy Dalimonte. “The science content for fifth grade seemed a natural fit, especially with the five zones/biomes he was to cover in his quest to the top.”
Mount Kilimanjaro is located in northeast Tanzania and is the highest peak in Africa, at a height of 19,340 feet. “It is something that I have been looking to do for several years,” said Diehl. “When I moved overseas, I found the opportunity was finally available for me.
“After my time in the military, I was looking for a new challenge to test myself, and Mt. Kilimanjaro provided the perfect opportunity,” he continued. “It was especially important to me as I lost my friend, Patrick Feeks, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan. I wanted to do this in honor of his memory and sacrifice.”