New Hampshire goes to Africa!
In the summer of 2015, students from Hopkinton and Bow High Schools (NH), went to South Africa to study the ecology and culture. We spent 21 days out on safaris, walks, on trips to the local villages and two days at one local high school – where we taught spatial thinking through mapping and ArcGIS – 30 students walked to school on their seasonal holiday to be with us. One local girl, Mhlavasi, was sponsored on the entire 3 week program with us and it resulted in a wonderful exchange of culture and life-long friendships. During the safaris we observed animal behavior and examined their tracks and sign. We collected and analyzed data and created maps. We also trailed some elephants, rhinos, and lions. We were very fortunate to spend hours upon hours watching lions feeding, sleeping and playing.
Watch a 7 minute video of our experience here (it was filmed by professional videographer Neels deKlerk over only four days of our 21 day program, to give you an idea of all the adventures we had!). In one scene you will see us learning to handle snakes and practice wilderness first aid – don’t worry, no one was actually injured! The scenery is stunning and the sounds you hear (turn up the volume!) are the kinds of things we saw and heard on a daily basis.
If you want to read more about our experiences go to Original Wisdom BLOG pages and find the blogs written by some of our students. Use the keywords “Hopkinton” or “Bow” High School to search for them.
You can also read a bit more about the experience in the attached newsletter from the New Hampshire Geographic Alliance, pages 8-10, here.
– R. Scott Semmens & Kersey Lawrence