STEM team announces summer trip to Costa Rica


By Haley Kerner

On Wednesday March 11, Upper School Director Samantha Coyne-Donnel announced a new summer trip focused on tropical biodiversity trip to Costa Rica.

The trip will run from July 10 to Aug. 1 in the rain forests of Costa Rica. According to biology teacher and faculty advisor of the trip Crystal Sengstaken, there is no set itinerary yet.

Sengstaken is looking for three to five Archer students to travel. “If there’s huge interest, then we will have to do some sort of application form. If [only] five girls want to go, then those five girls get to go,” she told the Oracle.

Archer’s achievements in STEM spurred the National Coalition of Girls Schools and the Council on International Educational Exchange to offer a $2,000 grant towards the trip to Costa Rica to study biodiversity. The trip would normally cost $4,100 plus airfare for each girl, but the grant cuts these costs nearly in half.

According to Sengstaken, the course, entitled “Tropical Biodiversity: Explore, Serve, Sustain,” will focus on learning about biodiversity, conservation efforts and rainforest sustainability in Costa Rica.

Sengstaken said the girls will be able to use what they learn on the trip in their science classes next year. “It translates perfectly to the courses at Archer because it’s going to be very high quality instruction.”

“At Archer we like to do science, not just learn it. [The students] will be able to see first hand what it’s like to be an organism living in Costa Rica which has a super high concentration of unique organisms,” Sengstaken said.