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Our Wisconsin charter school uses scientific research and project-based learning as the focus of our curriculum. Project learning is based on a constructivist model of learning that engages you in real-world scholarly activity because you get to chose topics that interest you.
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Gulf Research Trip

Posted on January 9, 2015 by -Esmé Z. 10th grade

Wildlands has so many wonderful learning opportunities that other schools only dream of. This year, Wildlands has made yet another dream become a reality with the upcoming trip to Gulf Breeze, Florida. Wildlands will be taking 25 students and 5 chaperones on a charter bus departing towards Gulf Breeze, Florida, on February 11th. The majority of the trip will be spent in Florida, but the first few days we will be spent traveling along the gulf shore venturing into Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Don't worry, the trip will not just be a bunch of high school students soaking up the sun by the ocean; the trip is actually packed full with amazing learning opportunities most of us never imagined were possible.

Wildlands students will be involved in numerous volunteering experiences. Some of the volunteer work that we will be helping with includes teaming up with the University of Western Florida Marine Biology Department in order to learn how to conduct DNA based species identifications tests with fish living in the Gulf.  We will be helping the Sea Grant County Officer remove Beach Vitex, an invasive species living along the gulf shore. We will be working with the Turtle THiS (Teens Helping in the Seashore) Program, learning how to identify five different species of sea turtles living in the Gulf. The National Park Service (NPS) will be teaching us how human interaction impacts the lives of the turtles. We will also be volunteering with the National Park Services collecting data from the night sky; The National Parks preserve some of the last remaining areas of darkness and provide an opportunity for the public to experience the endangered resource. Students will be participating in volunteer work, and we will also be touring museums in both Florida and New Orleans.

While we are in Florida we will be touring Fort Pickens, one of the four largest forts built to defend Pensacola Bay; Fort Morgan, a fort designed to protect the shipping channels of Mobile Bay; and Fort Massachusetts, one of the last masonry coastal fortifications to be built in the United States. We will be attending a tour at the National Naval Aviation Museum which is the world's largest Naval Aviation museum and one of the most visited museums in Florida. The Museum contains more than 150 historically restored aircrafts from the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. And lastly, we will be traveling to New Orleans and visiting the National World War II Museum. The museum's exhibits cover the global scale of World War II, the exhibits highlight the role world leaders played in the war and how everyday men and women found strength and courage to accomplish extraordinary feats. We also hope to take part in many other iconic museum tours while we are in New Orleans.

This trip is going to be rich in history and new learning opportunities, but although it is amazing that we have the chance to go on this trip, it isn't free. The trip will be pricy, but no doubt it will be worth it. Students are currently working on fundraising to bring the cost of the trip down, but we need your support. If you would like to make a donation you can fill out the donation form in the back of the newsletter. Any donations are greatly appreciated and go a long way to making Wildlands a place where students make our dreams into a reality.




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In the winter of 2011, Wildlands Charter School students began producing news stories for our website and an electronic email newsletter.

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