Paoli Peaks, between Indianapolis (90 miles away) and Louisville, KY (45 miles away) is hoping to open for snowsports Dec. 15.

On the edge of the Hoosier National Forest, its 15 trails are spread over a 300-foot vertical drop and are served by seven lifts and tows including three triple chairs and one quad.

To encourage students in the fouth through 12 grades to see what downhill sports is all about and earn school credit too, it’s offering schools a unique field trip classroom experience on the slopes every Wednesday throughout the season.

Paoli provides a 30- to 45-minute discussion on topics ranging from meteorology and biology, to chemistry and physics, all important subjects when it comes to ski area basics: how snow is made, transporting boarders and skiers up the hill, and the best part, getting them back down.

Each class includes the session, pass for the slopes, rental equipment, a beginner lesson and lunch.

Oh, and of course, after class, students can put what they’ve learned to practical use by having fun on the slopes until 4 p.m. Programs start on the half-hour from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

It’s an $84 value day (not even counting the food) for just $15, a huge 82 percent savings over the cost of the same bought separately.

Other deals for post-grads of this class session will be posted throughout the season at its website. Or, call the area at 812-723-4696.

Paoli is encouraging students further with all-new youth rental boots and enhancements to its Empire Terrain Park, one of two on property.

Riders and freestylers: head to Paoli the weekend of Feb. 8-10 and throw down some tricks in the park with help from US Airbag. More on that later.