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Student Travel Opportunities

Close Up Washington D.C.
Contact Person: Mr. Trimberger, tyler.trimberger@wayzata.k12.mn.us
How often the trip occurs: Annually
Dates of trip: Second Semester, every year
Overview: Looking for an exciting, life-changing experience? Join the Washington D.C. Close-Up trip. Participants will spend a week in the nation's capital experiencing the U.S. government in action. This experience is open to all students in grades 9-12.
Academic Purpose: This trip is great for any student interested in politics, government, history, or public policy. We will spend the week in D.C. with students from all around the country. Essentially, the city becomes our classroom for the week. Activities include; a mock congress, a day at the capital meeting with our representatives, monument and museum lessons, civil war battleground tours and much more. For more info visit www.closeup.org.
WHS Music Department
Contact Person: Mr. Gitch, mark.gitch@wayzata.k12.mn.us
Overview: Group travel with a performing ensemble provides a rich social context for inspiring, transformational artistic work, as well as unique and exciting opportunities for personal and intellectual growth. To that end, Wayzata High School’s top choir and orchestra travel regionally or nationally once every three years. In recent years the Concert Choir has built an ongoing relationship with a professional choir in Texas, and the Chamber Orchestra has traveled to New York, New Orleans, and Chicago. The Wind Ensemble and Marching Band alternate travel years, with the former frequently traveling to Chicago and the latter to Orlando. Contact a director for information on travel dates. Travel is an integral part of curriculum for the above ensembles. In order to retain high levels of participation (85-100%), limit our fundraising, and provide financial assistance as needed, we limit our destinations to dynamic regional and national locations. This provides the most important benefits of group travel at a fraction of the cost of international travel. There is, of course, great potential value in international travel and we encourage students to supplement their Wayzata High School performance travel experience with international travel connected to area youth orchestras, the Minnesota Ambassadors program (band and choir), or travel in another academic area such as world languages.
Marine Biology SCUBA Trip to Grand Cayman Island
Contact Person: Erik Christenson, erik.christenson@wayzata.k12.mn.us
How Often: This trip takes place every summer
Overview: This eight day trip is designed to engage students in first-hand, experiential, learning. Students will earn a full SCUBA certification and travel to Grand Cayman Island where they will dive two to three times a day and spend the evenings learning about the coral reef ecosystem of the Caribbean. This trip is open to all 10th – 12th graders.
Academic Purpose: Students will learn about the complex coral reef ecosystem of the Caribbean Sea. They will learn to identify many of the flora and fauna while discovering how they work together to form the reef ecosystems of the ocean.
Costa Rica Biology Research Experience
Contact: Toni Leland at toni.leland@wayzata.k12.mn.us
How often: every year for 10 days approximately June 16-26
Overview: Costa Rica Leaf Cutter Ant Biology Research Experience (no previous ant experience necessary only completion of biology, bioX or APbio by the end of their 10th grade year), available to all Wayzata 10th and 11th graders. When else do you get to dig up ants and experiment on them? This will be the sixth year this trip is being offered. Students get a college experience performing their own leaf cutter ant research in the rainforest under the direction of a professor from the University of Costa Rica. Students dig up ant colonies, determine their own experiment, learn how real science is performed by writing up an official lab report, and also how lab results are presented to the community and other scientists. Because of the complexity of this program students can earn 3 college credits upon completion of this experience along with a letter of recommendation for college or a lab job. There is also a cultural component to this experience where students do community service for the small town we stay in and do other activities to experience more of the rain forest. This is not a tourist trip. Students work on science for at least half a day or more. They also spend time at the beach doing a turtle sweep for egg layers and learn about sea turtle conservation. The trip is offered to Wayzata students through an non profit called Seeds of Change which is run by a former NASA space station manager, John Doleman. The trip costs $3,500 which is all-inclusive. Students wishing to get college credit need to pay an additional $200 fee. Coffee fundraising sales are available as is some scholarship money. Checks do need to be made out to Seeds of Change and there is a payment schedule so not all of the money is due at one time.
German Exchange Trip
Contact Person: Karen Nickel, karen.nickel@wayzata.k12.mn.us
How often the trip occurs: yearly, if we have enough students, has sometimes happens every other year.
Dates of trip: summer - usually the three weeks directly after WHS ends
Overview: Students spend 3 weeks living in Germany. Although students do not have to take advantage of both opportunities, students are able to host students from Germany for 3 weeks in March or April and then go live with those students in June. With chaperoning teachers, students take part in activities at the German high school, in and around Dusseldorf and take a longer excursion by train to a different part of Germany. The family stay is at the core of the program, giving students an authentic experience.
Academic Purpose of the trip: Interaction with speakers of German and travel outside of the United States play an important role in learning a language and in understanding another culture. Students gain a broader perspective from which to see their own culture.
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