The Wilderness Classroom Organization launched its tenth online expedition, the Trans-Amazon Expedition, on April 2nd, 2007.
Over the course of three school years, Dave Freeman and Eric Frost will lead the Wilderness Classroom’s expedition team across South America by bike and canoe. The expedition began April 2 in Chiclayo, Peru, where the team of four Americans and two Peruvians started the 500 mile biking stage, which will take them up and over the Andes.
In mid-April they will load up their canoes and begin paddling the length of the largest river in the world, the Amazon. The first phase of the journey will end in the town of Iquitos, Peru in mid-May. Then, the team plans to return during the spring and fall of 2008 in order to paddle down the Amazon River all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.
The reason for embarking on such an expedition is education. The Wilderness Classroom team will have over 1,200 teachers and 50,000 students participating in the journey over the Internet. The educational focus of the journey will be on the people, plants, and animals of the Amazon Rainforest—paying close attention to how all three are affected by global climate change. The students will do more than read about these topics, they will make decisions for the expedition team and participate in the adventure by voting on online polls, communicating with the team via email and online chat sessions, and visiting with the team members in-person before and after the expedition.
The Wilderness Classroom is a non-profit organization that strives to engage, excite, and motivate students and teachers using an interactive, technology-based learning model that draws upon people’s innate curiosity and desire for exploration. Essentially, this is a program set up to “electronically” bring young people on virtual expeditions all over the world. They bring their educational content—photos, journals, videos, polls, audio clips, chat sessions, quizzes, and more—to students, teachers, and anyone who would like to follow the expedition via their website, www.wildernessclassroom.com.
For further information about the Trans-Amazon Expedition, visit the Wilderness Classroom’s website at www.wildernessclassroom.