ECO Classroom: First year of teacher trip to Costa Rica a huge success!

ECO Classroom: First year of teacher trip to Costa Rica a huge success!

In July 2012, 16 school teachers from around the U.S. traveled to the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring Network’s site in Costa Rica, led by TEAM’s Morgan Cottle and education consultant Peggy Lubchenco.  Teachers stayed at La Selva Biological Station in the Sarapiqui region. While there, they learned how scientists collect data on tropical forests, interacted with scientists from all over the world and experienced the sights and sounds of life at a field station deep in the rainforest.  Upon returning to their schools they have exciting stories and engaging new lessons to share with their students.

Photo of 2012 ECO Classroom participants (courtesy of Mike Johnsen)

Teachers worked in teams of four to design group projects that are replicable in their home schools.  Projects covered land use (farmed versus forested land), carbon storage in forests and remote sensing.  Teachers created lessons based on their projects and presented them on the final day of the trip.

While at La Selva teachers also learned about animal behavior, LIDAR, team protocols (camera trapping and terrestrial vertebrates) and visited nearby coffee and banana plantations. Groups who studied vegetation were able to compare the lowland forest at La Selva to the cloud forest atop Volcan Barva (after a harrowing jeep ride up the mountain!). While teachers worked closely with TEAM scientists, they also interviewed scientists from around the world conducting field work at La Selva.

This first year of the trip was a huge success thanks to these dedicated teachers.  Future trips are planned for 2013 and 2014.  Additionally, an outreach workshop will be presented at the National Science Teachers Association Meeting highlighting TEAM and ECO Classroom.


contractor's picture

Do you have any spaces open and how many for the field trip to Costa Rica or the African Congo if any? Thank you J