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WHS Students Prepare For Galapagos Trip

"There are organisms there that you can't find anywhere else on the planet. About two-thirds of all the species on the Galapagos Islands are only found there," WHS science teacher Dr. Todd Ryan says.

Westborough High School senior Ben Huber (left) and science teacher Dr. Todd Ryan. Photo by Michael Gelbwasser.
Westborough High School senior Ben Huber (left) and science teacher Dr. Todd Ryan. Photo by Michael Gelbwasser.
A school-sponsored February vacation trip will allow Westborough High School senior Ben Huber to explore two of his interests.

A group of 32 students heads to the Galapagos Islands for eight days through EF Education First Tours, along with high school students from Dover-Sherborn, Hopkinton and Ecuador, WHS science teacher Dr. Todd Ryan says.

Huber says the trip interested him because while he plans to pursue a career in history, "I've always been interested in science."

"Finding out how all this life stuff actually works is just so cool," Huber says.

"Darwin clearly is history of biology. Those things tie together. And the more you understand about history from different fields, the easier it is to understand why things happen the way they do," Ryan adds.

It's the latest trip that WHS students have taken through EF Tours.

Last April vacation,  a group led by Westborough High teachers Darrell Potosnak and Cindy Rodriguez attended the Global Student Leaders Summit: Addressing Environmental Sustainability, in Costa Rica.

The Galapagos trip is "a continuation" of that trip, which also involved former WHS science teacher Anita Lotti, who now teaches at Dover-Sherborn, Ryan says.

Ryan says visiting the Galapagos interests him as a biology teacher.

"There are organisms there that you can't find anywhere else on the planet. About two-thirds of all the species on the Galapagos Islands are only found there," he says.

The eight-day trip will start with a day in Quito, Ecuador.

"Quito is right on the equator. So, there's a couple of activities the kids are going to do," Ryan says.

The group then will fly to Baltra Island, "the one Darwin first landed on," Ryan says.

The group will be based there, and will take daily trips to the various islands, "going along the beach, looking at reefs" and "looking at organisms, being able to find out how the people there survived," he says.

The students also will do a role playing-style activity in which "they're going to be trying to build a proposal for how different competing groups can determine what should be happening in the Galapagos Islands in the future," Ryan says.

Ryan says the Westborough High students will make a presentation to the Westborough School Committee after the trip. 

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