Expectations High for a Week of Hands-On Learning, Belizian Style...
Eric Wetzel -- This week 14 students will travel to Belize and the paradise of South Water Caye (SWC) to study the biology of invertebrate animals. This small island, about 14 miles off the coast, is in contact with the barrier reef of Belize. As one might suspect, it’s a beautiful tropical location. This will be the third group of Wabash students to visit SWC over the last 5 years.
Students keep detailed journals of the trip and will, of course, blog about their adventures. Through journaling students are not only encouraged to record species observed and notes from background lectures, but also to reflect on the total experience, from the time we are waiting to depart from Indianapolis to about one week after they’ve returned to Wabash after the trip.
To paraphrase comments which virtually all students have made in the past, I expect this trip the change the way they look at invertebrate animals, the way they view the class and their lab experience at Wabash, and the way they view their lives, particularly in socioeconomic terms. Given that we’ll spend much of our time snorkeling over various habitats, the students and I are ready for a real “immersion” experience.