Immersion Program

Tropical Field Research

During the Seeds of Change Tropical Rainforest Research Program, students are immersed in a hands-on field research program that takes advantage of the immense biodiversity of the tropical rainforest. They learn how to apply the scientific method while collaborating with team members to establish their original research question as well as the experimental design for their project. Students work together to implement the steps effectively and learn how to work as a team to overcome challenges and rebound from failures within resource and time constraints, just as in any real-world project. They use statistics to validate the results of their experiments and give presentations showing the results of their work, just like any research scientist would!

Dr. Pinto provides background for the day’s research activities

Students learn directly from world-renowned experts who guide and mentor students throughout the research process.

SOC Research Students collaborate and brainstorm, scientific process in action!
Brainstorming
SOC leafcutter ant student research, hands on field work!
In the Field
SOC High School Student Research, leafcutter ant biology - full engagement!
In the Lab
SOC Student Research, analyzing results - team work!
Analyzing Results
Dr. Adrian Pinto SOC Chief Scientist - giving feedback on high school research project.
Getting Feedback
SOC High School Research Final Presentations - Scientific Method
Final Presentation

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Overall Itinerary:

 

Students arrive at Liberia or San Jose airport.

They travel by van to the Research Station (8 days) location deep in the tropical rain/cloud forest, nestled between Rincon de la Vieja, Miravalles and Santa Maria volcanoes. 

They finish in the dry forest ecology on the Pacific coast in El Jobo for marine biology stingray capture, tag and release and sea turtle nesting sweeps (2 days). 

SOC Students at Thermal Pools
SOC Students at Thermal Pools

Seeds of Change Adventures - Santa Maria Thermal Pools

SOC Horseback Riding Costa Rica
SOC Horseback Riding Costa Rica

Seeds of Change high school science research students horseback ride to cloud forest - Santa Maria Volcano, Costa Rica

SOC Cacao (Chocolate) Tour
SOC Cacao (Chocolate) Tour

Seeds of Change high school research students learn how cacao plants transform into delicious chocolate! Finca la Anita Rainforest Ranch Costa Rica

SOC Students at Thermal Pools
SOC Students at Thermal Pools

Seeds of Change Adventures - Santa Maria Thermal Pools

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Off-site Adventures:

 

Participants get a healthy break from science to do nearby breathtaking activities like: 

  • Hiking the Rincon de la Vieja National Park with a naturalist to waterfalls and thermal pools

  • Horseback riding in rainforest

  • Cacao plantation tour: chocolate from harvest to taste-tests

  • Night hike

  • Snorkeling for stingrays

  • Turtle nesting sweeps

  • Costa Rican cooking class: students learn how to prepare their own traditional meal!

  • Beach time!

SOC Homebase, Costa Rica
SOC Homebase, Costa Rica

Seeds of Change high school research program home base - Finca la Anita Rainforest Ranch, Colonia Libertad, Costa Rica

SOC Costa Rica - Amazing Food!
SOC Costa Rica - Amazing Food!

Seeds of Change offers students an introduction to healthy Costa Rican food, fresh fruits, juices.

SOC Cabin Lodging
SOC Cabin Lodging

Seeds of Change high school science research housing at Finca la Anita Rainforest Ranch is comfortable and cozy!

SOC Homebase, Costa Rica
SOC Homebase, Costa Rica

Seeds of Change high school research program home base - Finca la Anita Rainforest Ranch, Colonia Libertad, Costa Rica

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Host Amenities:

 

Finca la Anita is an eco-tourism lodge and cacao plantation located in a remote, rural town about 1.5 hours from the city of Liberia

 

Our hosts are incredibly hospitable and responsive to all our needs. The food is delicious and is grown on site or is locally sourced. The kitchen staff routinely adapt to diet preferences (gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian to name a few) and allergy-related requirements. 

 

Students stay in various size cabins (2-8 students) within earshot of teacher chaperones. Laundry services are available for a fee.

Host Site: Finca la Anita Rainforest Ranch

photo caption

SOC Adventure - Horseback Riding
SOC Adventure - Horseback Riding

Seeds of Change students take a healthy break from science research in the cloud forest of Santa Maria volcano, Costa Rica.

SOC High School Research Group Photo
SOC High School Research Group Photo

Seeds of Change high school science research students bond with each other and their mentors, Costa Rica.

SOC Three Rivers Walk
SOC Three Rivers Walk

SPA students on Seeds of Change Research program in Costa Rica - Day 1 - Three Rivers Hike.

SOC Adventure - Horseback Riding
SOC Adventure - Horseback Riding

Seeds of Change students take a healthy break from science research in the cloud forest of Santa Maria volcano, Costa Rica.

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Registration:

 

Seeds of Change typically works with schools to identify two teacher chaperones for a group of 16 students. We also work with regional home-school groups and individuals that are willing to join with others to participate in the program.​