PEAK Students Share Their Learning Adventure

Peak students by Katie Knight

Tues. May 14, 2024 – Program begins 7:00PM
Montana WILD, 2668 Broadwater Ave.
FREE – All Are Welcome

Helena students will share highlights of their Costa Rica environmental education adventure.  Students in the PEAK Gifted and Talented Program participated in the Sea Turtle Ecology Course led by Ecology Project International. They hiked in the coastal and highland rainforests where they were thrilled to encounter some species they will present, including an Eyelash Viper, Poison Dart Frogs, the Jesus Christ Lizard, Mantled Howler Monkeys, and Montezuma Oropendola, a raucous colony-nesting bird. Some of the PEAK students stayed home during spring break and will share their research into species native to Montana and other places.

On the Caribbean Coast, students patrolled the beach at the Pacuare Reserve to research and protect Leatherback Sea Turtles. Imagine walking on a remote beach in the middle of the night, moving with stealth in the darkness, always watchful for huge forms that emerge from the sea— Leatherback females who lay their eggs on the beach.  Working with professional researchers, students carefully collected biometric data. Breathing the pungent scent of these giant reptiles, they gathered the eggs to take to a hatchery for protection from predators. As one amazed student explained, “I was a midwife to a Leatherback!”

As part of the PEAK Gifted and Talented program that begins in third grade, students refine their skills in ten curriculum strands, including research and communication. Their PowerPoint presentations will focus on what they learned about various species of particular interest to each student as well as the human dimensions of interacting with the animals, and creative ideas for hypothetical research that would enable us to learn more.



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