The Future of Biotech: Boston, MA
Over the first week of spring break, nine students headed to Boston to explore the rich history and modern context of innovation in healthcare and technology. They engaged directly with a researcher from MIT, discussed the collaboration between university and for-profit research centers, and explored the ethical limits of gene editing technologies.
Touring Harvard, students learned about the context for major tech in Boston, from Alexander Graham Bell to Akamai Technologies. They performed treatment simulations at Harvard Medical School.
Other favorite stops included the Boston Science Museum and an “Amazing Race” style challenge through historic Boston landmarks.
Exploring Public Lands in the American West: California
For the second week of spring break, 24 students headed to California to explore National Parks, to learn about their history, and discover how they are used today. Our students explored issues of water rights, drilling, river conservation, drought, native lands, and recreation through immersion in some of the US's most spectacular public lands in Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and Yosemite.
After camping out under the stars, the group explored Joshua Tree National Park with a day-long hike.
In Death Valley, students identified characteristics of sediment deposits, learned about the resident pupfish, examined areas where erosion may have occurred, and simulated flash floods.
In Yosemite Valley, the travelers discovered new vistas and had the opportunity to spend time with women from the Southern Sierra Miuk Nation, who invited the group to tour the sacred Wahhoga land. They also explored literature about the area and native people and discussed the ecological developments within Yosemite National Park.
These perspective-changing experiences allow students to gain awareness and understanding of issues and opportunities beyond their regular circles of exposure. In broadening their horizons, they develop the confidence and skills necessary to take action to serve and shape their worlds.