The New Albany-Plain Local School District last week celebrated the success of its first STEM Expeditions course and announced a new course is planned for spring 2013.
The district shared the success of the summer 2012 pilot course with a portfolio presentation Oct. 18 at the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany.
The course participants -- 19 students in grades 7 to 12 and one adult community member -- displayed the photos they took during the course, which included a June visit to Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, and focused on the STEM fields of study: science, technology, engineering and math.
The spring 2013 course will add a robotics component and is open to middle or high school students and adult community members. High school students can earn high school credit for the course and apply for one college science credit through the University of Vermont.
The course will culminate with a trip to South Africa in June. The trip will be arranged through Coyote Trails School of Nature, a nonprofit organization in Ohio and Oregon. Course participants will leave Columbus on June 2 and fly into Hoedspruit, South Africa, on June 3. They will take a safari in Kruger National Park and tour its Panorama Route before returning home June 12.
Course participants will learn about animal anatomy through a warthog or impala dissection; foot morphology evolution through wildlife tracking; endangered species preservation and rehabilitation; South African plant and animal identification; medicinal plant use; and animal tracking, according to a district release.
Participants also will be challenged to build a remote-controlled car with a mounted camera. The car will be used to observe rhinos.
Interested students and community members should email Sandy Willmore at firstname.lastname@example.org before Nov. 16.