HELENA – Students soaked up the sun Thursday afternoon at Spring Meadow Lake State Park.

Montana City Middle School students hauled kayaks into the water for class. They got a lesson in the proper way to paddle, how to save someone who was in distress on the water and what to do if their kayak tips over.

It’s part of the school’s exploratory unit where teachers, along with community members, share some of their passions with their students.

Seventh and eighth grade teacher Katie Starr said kayaking is one of her favorite things to do, and she hopes to inspire her class.

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“I’m hoping that they are learning to love the outdoors, love to try the outdoors, get out of their comfort zone, doing something that wouldn’t normally do,” Starr added.

The students spent two half days learning the different skills for kayaking, with some in-class learning as well as hands on experience with the watercraft.

Some of the other activities students got the chance to experience during the exploratory units are cooking and disc golfing.