"The most memorable part of the scientific side of my Costa Rica experience was the unique group dynamic I got to experience. ... Although we also did many other fun activities, the core of the trip was focused on science. Because every student truly wanted to develop innovative and unique ideas, the result was an extremely collaborative, enthusiastic, and intelligent group of students who all strived to put together the best possible experiment and have fun while doing so. My experience with Seeds of Change felt like a fun twist on what I hope my upper level college courses will be like ... I feel that this is something that I will remember fondly for the rest of my life.. " Ted H, 2021
Student Perspective Trim
SOC Bioinformatics Graduate Perspective
“While in Costa Rica I learned a lot! I learned the importance of independence, but also how important it is to collaborate with others. I also learned that asking for help is not a “bad thing,” and can benefit you greatly. I communicated with new people in a different country and learned how to create my own projects and experiment with new things.
This experience has taught me how to adapt and create on my own...it was great to be able to go, and complete hands-on research with the scientists…The scientific research was so interesting and valuable. However, we had many adventures outside of the classroom, too!
We went on many hikes in the rainforest, and went horseback riding, zip lining, and on a bat tour, too! We were able stop in the village, and experience their local grocery stores, go on a coffee plantation tour, and interact with families. We went to the ocean, and researched sea turtles and stingrays. We were able to touch them, measure them, and collect data that is used worldwide. We also observed sea life by snorkeling and enjoyed the thrilling boat rides. All of these experiences together made the trip very fun, and an enriching experience that I will never forget.”
Dr. Bob Wein
Tropical Field Research 2017 & 2018
“Having participated and witnessed talented high school students complete the Tropical Field Research program developed by Seeds of Change Research (SOC Research) in the rain forest of Northern Costa Rica, it is apparent that the results are nothing less than trans-formative.
While SOC’s intent was to generate students more interested in pursuing science, in reality, they are accomplishing something much more dramatic: they are demonstrating how science education needs to change…The students exposed to the program developed by SOC Research receive a very different, even unique experience.
The experiments, even the topics to investigate are completely determined by each student. The research performed is genuinely original. The results are the utilization of students’ creativity for the first time in science. Students not only learn about a topic of their own choosing, they also learn about their own talents.
It is clear to me that any future curriculum needs to be driven by teaching students to: think for themselves, be willing to approach challenging problems, take academic risks and learn how to grow from failure…The research experience developed by Seeds of Change (SOC) is unlike anything else currently available. The focus of the program is specific to high school students, yet the creativity, demands, topics researched, and sense of accomplishment are more akin to graduate school. In short, it unleashes a student’s abilities at a much younger age. It is a new approach to high school science education. Or as their motto states: Changing the Landscape of Secondary Science Education.”
Sara Falkofske (right)
Tropical Field Research 2012-2017
“Seeds of Change Research is the ONLY program available to high school students in the United States that allows students an immersive student-directed science research experience abroad. I have been working with this program for five years, and with each student group I see enormous growth in the students' skills. Vast improvement can be seen in the following categories: academic achievement, experimental design, creativity, problem solving, Spanish speaking, cultural appreciation, and self-determination skills.
My own daughters are involved in the fantastic opportunities that this experience provides. University-level learning while in high school enriches participants and allows students to obtain the "marketable" skills that major universities are seeking in students such as these. Many students receive scholarships/research lab jobs based on the experiences, too. If you want your son/daughter to "stand out crowd" I highly recommend this fun and rewarding research trip with Seeds of Change. It has changed my daughters' lives, and it will change your child's life, too!”