12th Grade Field Studies
In 12th grade, students participate in a variety of field studies to enhance their study of AP Environmental Science which is the capstone course of the Global Program. Below is a sample of some of the field studies, internships and research projects that students participate in.
Wetland Bio-Diversity Study
Students set up transects, identify and count the wetland species present and compute a Shannon Weiner Biodiversity Index to compare the biodiversity of two distinct wetlands. They use this information to develop an explanation based on their understanding of wetland ecology and hydrology.
Canaan Valley Overnight
Seniors have the option of attending an optional 4 day, 3 night trip to Canaan Valley, West Virginia in the fall. On this trip students participate in a 10 mile interpretive hike led by a local ranger, explore the local energy generation issues such as the effects of coal mining and wind generation, and explore one of the last Old Growth Forests on the East Coast. At night students learn about the natural history of the area, participate in night hikes and astronomy activities.
Students become primate researchers for the day as they analyze the behaviors of orangutans and gorillas at the National Zoo. The students record observations and create hypothesize behaviors through a series of guided journal prompts in a unit on animal behavior. The importance of protecting biodiversity is emphasized on this field study.
Billy Goat Trail Geology Hike
Geology comes to life during a 5 mile hike along the Billy Goat Trail. The Mather Gorge and Great Falls are used to explain the geologic forces at work in our area over millions of years.
12th Grade Senior Projects
All students in the Global Ecology House are required to complete a senior project to receive the Global certificate at the end of the year. Each student identifies an environment problems and designs and implements a project to address this project. Students choose from a variety of areas, including: original research, engineering, education, stewardship or arts. Projects are presented at the end of the year in a poster session which is open to students, parents and community groups.