IB Biology classmates take a trip to have a hands-on experience

Tess DeGayner, Assistant Editor

Vacation hotspot: Florida. With the high temperature of 84, it is expected a great portion of spring breakers will be cloaked in sunscreen to shield themselves from the Florida rays when relaxing on the beach with an ice water by their side. However, a handful of IB Biology Year 1 students are taking a roadtrip to a less common destination with the high of 61 degrees.

IB Biology teacher Christa Shulters has taken students in her classes on educational vacations before. Years prior, the classmates went to Yosemite National Park to study living organisms. It is now more cost efficient to spend their Spring Break 2016 in the Appalachian Trails. Shulters is taking seven of her students with their own equipment for hiking.

“We are backpacking our own gear,” junior Thomas Kemp said. “The trails go through a couple of states but, I think we are going to Virginia, Maryland, and Tennessee. I am hoping to hike 20 miles in each day we are present on the trails.”

The next unit of study for IB Bio 1 is ecology and the study of photosynthesis. Along the trails, junior Bronson Kelly found plants that he has only seen in his textbook.

“We saw a great deal of nature over a hike of about 42 miles,” Kelly said. “There were all kinds of plants and animals native to Virginia. Things like Angiospermophyta, which are flowering plants, Conniferfita, those are simply trees with conical shaped seeds (pine trees) Felicinofita, ferns, and Bryophyta, that’s just types of mosses.”

This idea was made a reality to expose the students to the material making the experience a hands-on lab outside of the classroom to begin the final marking period of the school year.