We anticipate two teachers will be associated with the program. Seeds of Change Inc. will pay all of your expenses associated with your high school science student’s trip. There should be a lead teacher and a second teacher. The first trip is viewed as a trial for your high school. If the trip is a success and meets its’ objectives, we wish to make this an annual trip with your high school students. This means that we would plan to take 16 students each year. As the school’s sponsoring teachers, we look to you to teach the six pre-trip classes, usually consisting of one class per month for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. In addition, we look to you to be the program spokesperson in your high school and the focal point for collecting the student’s payment checks as per their schedule. We do not expect you to be involved with any fundraising. Seeds of Change will manage that part of this program with parent volunteers.

Seeds of Change will provide you with a basic course outline of the six modules that we want the students to learn. We will also furnish the class materials and you may select the material of your choice. This will include YouTube video and other packaged material. We will also provide Skype lectures by scientists involved in the program for certain sessions, such as Dr. Currie. It will be your responsibility to arrange the Skype location, the hardware and to coordinate the actual Skype session.

Seeds of Change will also look to you to take responsibility for the students travel activities from the local airport to Costa Rica and to provide oversight of your school students during the trip. Once the students reach Costa Rica, we will meet your group at the airport and transport you to our site. That trip will take about 2-1/2 hours driving from the hot, dry climate of the Liberia airport to the tropical rainforest on the north slope of the Rincon Volcano.

Once we are at the site all activities are arranged. Our scientists will take over the science component of this program and our on-site coordination team will be responsible for off-site activities. While all of on-site activities may be viewed as adventures by the students, each off-site adventure is selected for some potential educational content associated with science. We would like each teacher to monitor all the experiments being done and to participate to the degree you think seems logical. Once at the site, we would look to you to help provide coordination and help make decisions about activities of the day. For instance, if on a certain day we had planned a zip line off-site, but there was profound rain, we would probably like to make a decision to switch activities for that day.

We would also look to you to coordinate and manage the daily blog, so that each day one student has responsibility for preparing the blog for that day. But we would like you to post the blog each day and keep the students on schedule to prepare their blogs.

On the eighth day of the trip, we will have completed all of the work on leaf cutter ants. The students will present the results of their projects. These presentations should be given back at your school to parents and friends, school administration, board members, and other students. We would like you to assume responsibility to make this happen. After this last day in the tropical rainforest, we will transition to the Horizonte research station – dry forest three hours away. Here we will spend two days exposed to two different science activities.

Horizonte Research Station

​​This research station is in a flat, dry landscape with open land that facilitates monkey troop encounters. Here the students might have a chance to have a mini “Jane Goodall” experience with monkey troops, or they will be involved with Sea Turtle research (pending turtle nesting schedules). Each group may have slightly different exposures here in the dry forest depending on interests of the group. A main component of the stay here will be to “test” the students ability to conceptualize a solid theory for the mutualistic systems of a new fascinating species. They will bring all of their creative talents to bear on this as we break them into groups to bring this experience to their stay.

In the second year trip, should the high school decide to continue this program, a student or students from the group should take responsibility for this project as it becomes a good science leadership experience.
This program will provide a briefing for our students giving them a chance to learn about this field of work from one of the most successful turtle research groups in the world.

At this station, we are close to an isolated, virgin pacific coast beach where the students may spend the last half day unwinding. This is a mile long beach with no tourists, no buildings, no commercial activity. This beach is used by our Drezel University scientists researching the Easter Pacific Rim Black Turtles. It is this research program in which we may do turtle nesting patrols (again depending on nesting patterns at the time of our trip).

On the eleventh day of the trip, the flight back to the U.S. usually departs at midday. So the last responsibility you have here is to again manage the trip back when we transport your student group to the airport.

It is our goal, that if we are successful in convincing your high school to host this trip on an annual basis, we expect to produce second year students that have more knowledge in evolutionary microbial biology than a university biology graduate. If that is achievable it has some very important ramifications for bio-industrial growth in our communities and it has some potentially important benefits for fiscal possibilities of the school district.

Teacher Compensation

During the early years of this program, Seeds of Change has built into its cost models a basis to pay for participating teacher’s costs associated with these science research trips. However, we realize that if this program is successful and is made an annual program, the on-going effort of these lead teachers must have compensation in order to maintain viability. It will require the two teachers to dedicate 1 to 1-1/2 hours once a month for six months preceding the trip and it will take 10 days out of their summer break. With that said it is our intention, as our non-profit develops foundation support, to provide a compensation package for teachers who help us carry out this program after the first year’s trip.

A Minnesota 501c3 non-profit corporation with a mission of enhancing bioscience education for high school students and creating more science-related careers.
Copyright © 2018 Seeds of Change, Inc. 
A Minnesota 501c3 non-profit corporation with a mission of enhancing bioscience education for high school students and creating more science-related careers.
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