This article was originally published in the Fall 2011 Harker Quarterly.
Summer offers a great many options for enriching educational activities. Several upper school science students seized upon this opportunity and spent two weeks in Costa Rica in July and August, accompanied by upper school biology teacher Gary Blickenstaff and upper school physics teacher Miriam Allersma, for a trip that was as fun as it was enlightening and character-building.
Students spent much of their time working on research projects at Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, known in English as the National Biodiversity Institute, or INBio for short. Students spent significant time in the field collecting data for lab experiments. They later presented these projects to professors at the institute.
The students also worked with people from Costa Rica’s national park system to help protect the local sea turtle population.
Not ones to let a trip to a country as beautiful as Costa Rica go to waste, the group also took the opportunity for fun activities such as river rafting, cruising the canals in Tortuguera, viewing various underwater life while snorkeling and bird watching in the Cloud Forest area of Monteverde.