Last year's trip to Costa Rica showed us that education can, and should, be a life-altering experience. This year, a largely new group of students, have decided to learn about and travel to Puerto Rico. With this new topic and destination in mind, we have developed a year-long interdisciplinary class that is based on the same three core principles:

1) Travel to expand students' horizons
2) An explicit connection between the classroom and real world
3) The use of sweat equity for students to see that their efforts can make a difference

During the early fall, the curriculum was largely focused on developing the 21st Century Skills of problem solving, critical thinking, decision-making, and collaboration. This was initially done using group challenges in the classroom, but then became vitally important once we started raking lawns. In addition to being our major fundraiser, this hard work put students in positions that required group problem solving, as well as perseverance and responsibility – traits that we all know are central to changing the trajectory of their lives.

During the winter and spring, each student will be developing an independent research project on a chosen aspect of Puerto Rico.
We hope that you will keep checking back as we share our learning, growth and adventures.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hello all! I am wrapping up my project, so I figured I would give an update on Titus. Titus is doing quite well, he is fat and happy and I am waiting for his next molt. I gave him a new burrow, a broken piece of pottery which he has literally landscaped around. He has been sitting comfortably in his burrow for the last few days. While in Puerto Rico, I saw some cool insects.
I'm still trying to figure this guy out but he looks like either a rhinoceros beetle or a stag beetle.
I was also lucky enough to come across this: It is a Puerto Rican White Millipede. They are adorable in my opinion. I didn't see any tarantulas while there, however I did help our amazing guide Mario identify a tarantula that he saw and took a photo of. It turned out to be an Avicularia Laeta, the Puerto Rican Tree Spider. I also correctly identified a baby stick bug, small victories haha. Anyways it may not have been that eventful of a trip when it came to insects, but it was wonderful anyways! I will have Titus to remember it by for at least a few years, up to 20 if he turns out to be a she.

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