Discovering the Chao Phraya River with Senior Students
The Chao Phraya River, aptly known as the River of Kings, is the lifeblood of Thailand. With its watershed covering more then 30% of the country, it is vital for the survival and prosperity of Thailand.
Working on the Chao Phraya has given international schools, such as Prem, St Andrew’s and students from the University of Minnesota, a unique and alluring teaching resource that is truly one of a kind. With its immense biological diversity both in and out of the water, the Chao Phraya gives us a plethora of studying opportunities. Simple experiments, such as pitfall traps placed on the river banks at Piyawan Pier, have delivered a wealth of terrestrial invertebrates such as spiders, millipedes, centipedes, worms, leeches - and plenty of ants. The purpose of collecting these invertebrates is to identify each species that relies on the riverine habitat for survival, and to explore the diversity and abundance of species along the riverbank. From this we could potentially make inferences and hypotheses about larger animals within the food chain that may share this same habitat.
Water testing on the Barge
For an alternative scientific approach to discovering the Chao Phraya’s rich animal life, students have looked at the water hyacinth and the macro-invertebrates that reside within this plant species. By taking a closer look at this specialist plant, students have discovered a medley of different creatures present in the upper river - from wonderful water spiders, curious river crabs, loathsome leeches and even stunning but deadly nymphs. However, the beauty and diversity of the Chao Phraya is no coincidence. From the chemical water tests conducted by senior level students it is evident that the further up the river one travels, the clearer and cleaner the river water becomes. This is most evident when conducting chemical water tests focusing on the nine parameters (turbidity, bio-chemical oxygen demand, faecal coliform, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, temperature, total dissolved solids and pH).
It is not just the assortment of weird and wonderful creatures that attracts schools to the river. With ancient and culturally important wonders such as Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and Wat Chai Wattaranam, the upper Chao Phraya plays an important role in the preservation of Thailand’s rich and diverse history. With an array of study opportunities and endless curriculum exercises to be explored, the Chao Phraya really is fit for a king.
The Barge Program has developed different curricula for senior students, middle year students and for junior classes. For more information on the programs we offer see Barge Programs
The Three Generation Barge Program’s Carbon Series
We all want to do right for the planet, but what’s the real impact of every-day items that we use and buy? We hear a lot about driving and flying, but have you ever considered the impact of sending a text message, buying a bottle of water or taking a shower? How do bananas compare to a block of cheese or a beef steak? Or bigger scale events – how much C02 is generated from a football World Cup or a volcanic eruption?
Welcome to the Traidhos Three-Generation Barge Program’s Carbon Series. This is the first edition in a series that are designed to give you a sense of carbon, a ‘carbon instinct’ helping you to make simple changes to reduce your carbon footprint and actually make a difference!
How Bad is a Banana?
- Bananas are grown in natural sunlight, not in a greenhouse
- Bananas keep well, so although they are sometimes grown thousands of miles from the end consumer they can be transported by boats (about 1% as bad as flying)
- Hardly any packaging is needed as they have natural cases
- Bananas are healthy! They give many nutrients such as potassium
Q) How much C02 is released in the production of 1 banana?
A) 0.08 kg of CO2 each
Q) How many bananas are off-set in the CO2 storage of 1 tree per year?
A) 125 Bananas per tree per year