A group of St. Timothy High School students are gearing up for the school’s first international science-based trip this spring.
During the school’s spring break, March 30 to April 7, 15 students and two teachers will be travelling to Iceland where students will have the opportunity to learn about the human footprint on a landscape and the consequences, in addition to a thrilling international trip.
“What I want them to get an appreciation for is how large an effect humans have on natural landscapes because Iceland is only the way it is because human interference,” said Travis Cummings, one of the teachers leading the trip.
Cummings explained Iceland has had stark changes to its ecology since Scandinavians first colonized it, adding that there are few natural species left, and its once forested terrain is now livestock grazing land.
Students will get to apply lessons learned in geothermics while visiting volcanic sites and glacier lagoons. The students will also get a lesson in the nation’s fishing industry during a fishing boat trip and a glimpse at renewable energies.
“Iceland is completely renewable so it will be a bit of a change to what they’re seeing in Alberta. It’s going to open their eyes to how life is different in different areas of the world,” Cummings said. “There’s a lot of things they’re going to be exposed to.”
“They’re going to be graduating in June if all goes to plan, and they’re going to be entering post secondary education and later a workforce that’s rapidly changing and extremely globalized,” said Cummings. “Understanding culture and cultural diversity and how our actions affect a globalized world is really important. This is sort of a good stepping stone to start that.”
Jessie Rempel and Jordyn Mueller, two students registered for the trip, are excited to take part in the school’s international experience, especially since one of the last international trips St. Tim’s offered was during a travel restriction.
Mueller will make the most of the trip by taking in the country’s geographical history.
“I’ve never seen active volcanoes or know what comes with living near them,” Mueller said.
“This is kind of a once in a lifetime trip. When it got brought up even my dad was like ‘you have to go,’” Rempel said. “Everything about it is interesting to me.”
The highlight of the trip for Rempel will be the visit to the Blue Lagoon.
“No one gets to do that and we do, and that’s exciting,” Rempel said. “I love travelling too, it’s just a great way to go with friends and wrap up our senior year.”