Each year we welcome over 2,500 students and staff from schools worldwide.
12 – 14 December 2018
Students started their three day trip by learning about food webs within Khao Yai and how loss of vegetation/habitats affects all species within the food web. This was followed up with bird-watching, allowing the students to find and identify the many species in the forest and grassland habitats. Here students learned the important lessons of staying quiet and keeping alert to have the best chance of sighting wildlife.
To further develop identification skills students collected and identified macro-invertebrates from a river – species included stonefly and mayfly nymphs – these were then used as bio-indicators to assess the quality of the water at this site. Similarly, students learned about the make-up of lichens and then tried to identify some of the species on the edge of the forest, as another type of bio-indicator, in order to assess the air quality of the site.
Students started the second with a short hike through the grassland trail looking closely for the tell-tale signs of wildlife such as tracks, scat, nests etc. This hike finished at a raised bird hide where students were able to get a better view of the grassland, lake and salt-lick pit. Whilst there was a lot of scat around animals unfortunately remained hidden.
For the final part of the morning students played a game to learn about the theory of island biogeography – how the size, shape and connectivity of a habitat island affects the abundance and diversity of species the can survive in the island. We considered the effects of human actions such as habitat destruction and looked into the optimal design for national parks.
After lunch we walked through the forest, alongside a stream before hiking out of the valley paying close attention to the various adaptations of plants before returning back to our accommodation for a well-earned rest.
To round the day off we were all entertained at the campfire by students, teachers and barge staff alike with songs, poems and even a dance-off before indulging in toasted marshmallows.
On our final morning students took on a range of activities and challenges which focused on the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, which hope to be accomplished by 2030.
Activities included building the best tower from sustainable materials (egg boxes, newspaper etc.), eating insects during the ‘sustainable eating’ challenge and designing plots of land with as few sources of pollution as part of the ‘sustainable development’ challenge. The nine teams raced around the activities and used team-work and communication to complete as many as possible in the two- hour time frame.
Barge staff were extremely impressed throughout the with the students’ team-work, their lateral thinking and their determination throughout the challenges, and so certificates and medals were handed out to students before saying our final farewells after which we all headed back to Bangkok.