"I learned that science is not perfect, it does not go as planned, and the answers are constantly changing. Oftentimes in school, because we mostly do labs meant to teach a concept already constructed with an answer, we get pretty normal results with little variability. But in the real world, with an unanswered question and especially with living organisms, data might not be as predicted. But the cool thing is it leads to more questions and curiosity. "
Grace M, 2019
“While in Costa Rica I learned a lot! I learned the importance of independence, but also how important it is to collaborate with others. I also learned that asking for help is not a “bad thing,” and can benefit you greatly. I communicated with new people in a different country and learned how to create my own projects and experiment with new things.
This experience has taught me how to adapt and create on my own...it was great to be able to go, and complete hands-on research with the scientists…The scientific research was so interesting and valuable. However, we had many adventures outside of the classroom, too!
We went on many hikes in the rainforest, and went horseback riding, zip lining, and on a bat tour, too! We were able stop in the village, and experience their local grocery stores, go on a coffee plantation tour, and interact with families. We went to the ocean, and researched sea turtles and stingrays. We were able to touch them, measure them, and collect data that is used worldwide. We also observed sea life by snorkeling and enjoyed the thrilling boat rides. All of these experiences together made the trip very fun, and an enriching experience that I will never forget.”
Dr. Bob Wein
Tropical Field Research 2017 & 2018
“Having participated and witnessed talented high school students complete the Tropical Field Research program developed by Seeds of Change (SOC) in the rain forest of Northern Costa Rica, it is apparent that the results are nothing less than trans-formative.
While SOC’s intent was to generate students more interested in pursuing science, in reality, they are accomplishing something much more dramatic: they are demonstrating how science education needs to change…The students exposed to the program developed by SOC receive a very different, even unique experience.
The experiments, even the topics to investigate are completely determined by each student. The research performed is genuinely original. The results are the utilization of students’ creativity for the first time in science. Students not only learn about a topic of their own choosing, they also learn about their own talents.
It is clear to me that any future curriculum needs to be driven by teaching students to: think for themselves, be willing to approach challenging problems, take academic risks and learn how to grow from failure…The research experience developed by Seeds of Change (SOC) is unlike anything else currently available. The focus of the program is specific to high school students, yet the creativity, demands, topics researched, and sense of accomplishment are more akin to graduate school. In short, it unleashes a student’s abilities at a much younger age. It is a new approach to high school science education. Or as their motto states: Changing the Landscape of Secondary Science Education.”
Sara Falkofske (right)
Tropical Field Research 2012-2017
“Seeds of Change for Education is the ONLY program available to high school students in the United States that allows students an immersive student-directed science research experience abroad. I have been working with this program for five years, and with each student group I see enormous growth in the students' skills. Vast improvement can be seen in the following categories: academic achievement, experimental design, creativity, problem solving, Spanish speaking, cultural appreciation, and self-determination skills.
My own daughters are involved in the fantastic opportunities that this experience provides. University-level learning while in high school enriches participants and allows students to obtain the "marketable" skills that major universities are seeking in students such as these. Many students receive scholarships/research lab jobs based on the experiences, too. If you want your son/daughter to "stand out crowd" I highly recommend this fun and rewarding research trip with Seeds of Change. It has changed my daughters' lives, and it will change your child's life, too!”