Students and staff on this Aventura were extraordinarily lucky to witness an astounding array of wildlife in this biodiverse rain forest. While performing community service cleaning beaches and studying forest succession, students spotted Baird's tapir, deer, four species of monkeys, a two-toed sloth and – the highlight of the trip – a family of three pumas hunting spider monkeys!
This month, students, staff and alumni of New Summit Academy will embark on SIX different Aventuras! Next month’s issue will report in detail on these amazing experiences, but here’s a sneak peek:
The staff and students – led by our Experiential Education mentor and health advocate Jaime – are engaged in a campaign to bring more mindfulness to the foods we eat at NSA. Our chefs have always prepared wonderful meals and are excited about the new opportunities for learning healthy, balanced recipes that include whole grains and brown rice, more plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils and garbanzos, and limiting meat to once a day.
Ecological Stewardship is our Global Citizenship focus this quarter, and students have been able to witness putting this into practice, as phase two of our solar panel installation was completed.
Modeling Eco-Stewardship is an important facet in our mission to develop global citizens, and this project – developed in two phases – is a big part of those efforts. Phase one consisted of installing solar water heaters on dormitory roofs. Water is traditionally heated in Costa Rica with electricity, and since our students love their long, hot showers, these solar heaters have cut our monthly electricity usage by some 35%.
Phase two of the project was the installation of dozens of solar cells on the roof of our Academic Building. The power generated by these panels should cover nearly all of our campus electrical needs, dramatically reducing our carbon footprint!
Students in Model United Nations class began research last week for a simulation of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Students first chose a UN member state to represent before completing a research report on that country.
Once they were familiar with the history, strengths, and current challenges facing their countries, the student delegates - representing Ireland, Argentina, Belgium, Norway, Djibouti, Germany, and Japan - voted on a debate topic, ultimately deciding on "Strengthening Prevention Measures and Criminal Justice Responses to Human Trafficking." The US State Department recently estimated that there are between 20-36 million slaves in the world today, with human trafficking generating $150 billion in illegal profits each year.
Students have been researching their country's position on this issue, which coincides with the current school-wide global citizenship theme of human rights, and they are currently preparing formal position papers and three-minute speeches that outline national policies for preventing human trafficking while providing possible solutions to this global challenge. The work is preparing students for their participation in a full Model UN simulation next quarter.
Last week, our Experiential Education mentor and Student Council facilitator Matthew organized campaign speeches for students running for office. NSA’s Student Council includes a President and Vice-President, an Activities Representative, a Proposals representative, as well as a liaison with the Academic and Operations departments.
These positions have been intentionally created so that students are able to take part in the formation of their community and experiences while enrolled at New Summit Academy. Students, through their Student Council representatives, are able to organize their own cultural and recreational opportunities, can write proposals to make changes to the student handbook, and have the chance to manage their student monthly budget to make purchases to improve their daily lives.
Elections will be held soon, keep an eye out for the results!
NSA’s U.S. History class is analyzing small U.S. led military engagements that sought to pursue U.S. empire building, promote and negotiate expanding economic markets and policies, protect corporate investments in foreign lands, conduct scientific, oceanographic, and geological exploration, and occasionally noble pursuits like the encouragement and spread of democratic principles, political stability, infrastructure soundness and public facilities (customs houses, schools, administrative structures, road and highway systems, bridges, and hospitals), bureaucratic transparency and fairness, and basic modern sanitation systems and standards.
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