Focus on land-based site, Chantaburi
In January and February, the Traidhos Three-Generation Barge Program gets beach fever, with many trips flocking to the beautiful coastline of Chantaburi. Recently, we saw over two hundred Year 6 Bangkok Patana students, as well as a group of Year 8 students from Bromsgrove International School, join us on the eastern seaboard of Thailand.
So what does this so frequently over-looked area of the Thai coastline have to offer other than beautiful white sandy beaches? With stretches of dense mangrove forests it is the perfect spot for observing the wealth of biodiversity and learning about the special adaptations of the mangrove forests, all from the comfort of your kayak. Local fishing villages allow students to investigate the sustainability of the Thai fishing industry first hand, with the chance to interview local fishermen and see the daily catch.
The Kung Krabane aquarium provides the opportunity to learn more about the marine ecosystem, so easily forgotten under the waves; a walk through an underwater tunnel gives students the chance to be surrounded by sharks and rays, while staying safely on dry land. If a closer encounter with our shark friends is sought after, then the local marine research and rehabilitation centre provides students the chance to get up close and personal and feed sharks, as well as other marine life such as huge grouper fish and marine turtles.
On the coast in between Bangkok and Chantaburi lies the Suttahip Navy base, which is home to the Navy’s turtle conservation project. Here students can learn about the mysterious life cycles of turtles and the problems that they face, problems that result in fewer than 1% of turtles reaching maturity.
As well as the many opportunities for learning about marine ecosystems, there are two national parks in the region providing the opportunity for walks through the rainforest and visits to magnificent waterfalls for a swim. The campsite at Khao Kitchicut offers a night under canvas, getting close to nature with a Thai jungle cooking lesson.
With all this on offer it is no surprise Chantaburi is such a popular site to visit. With programs available for all age groups and endless learning opportunities the staff are currently looking forward to their next trips to the sunny site of Chantaburi. Click here
for further information about marine land-based programs.
Connecting classroom learning with your fieldtrip
The Barge Program offers an interdisciplinary approach to learning, appealing to different learning styles and reinforcing scientific concepts through the arts. As each trip is created to match learning outcomes suggested by the visiting teacher, classroom learning is continued both on the barge and at land stops as the following report shows.
Bugs, Bugs, Bugs
When Grades two and three of British Columbia International School (BCIS) visited the barge they were eager and ready to get their hands dirty while learning about bugs. After a morning aboard the barge they felt prepared to jump on to land at Wat Tha Id and hunt for all sorts of creepy crawlies. After the first few yelps, and squeals from confronting the new and intriguing insect habitats, the children of BCIS got to work, using only their hands and jars to explore! Later they used magnifying glasses to aid their detailed scientific sketches. Once back on board the barge the children giggled along to the story 'The Tadpole’s Promise' by Joanne Willis and Tony Ross before sketching the life cycles of the story’s main characters, the ever love-struck tadpole and rainbow caterpillar.