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Home » Our Programs » Pre-Trip Requirements » Educational Project

The Southwest’s rivers and canyons provide the ultimate educational backdrop!

People travel from around the world to visit the Grand Canyon and the Southwest. This environment is rich in gorgeous landscapes, intriguing human history, world-famous geology, and fascinating animals and plants. Your Grand Canyon Youth program immerses you in these wild places, and you learn by experiencing them firsthand.

We want to know where your interests lie. We also want you to participate fully in your trip. To accomplish these goals, you will prepare an interactive 10–15 minute educational presentation and present it to your peers while on the river. This is not a book report; it’s a way for you to choose something you are excited about and share that excitement with others.

How do I go about doing my educational project?

1–Choose a topic. The best way to choose a topic is to pick something you are already interested in. Past participants have done their educational projects on everything from medicinal plants to historical photographers. Be creative! Some topics to help you brainstorm…

History Native American people, past and present
Early settlers, miners, or explorers
History of river runners
Geology Classification of rock types
Environments in which different rock types were formed
Fossils
Uplifts, faults, and other geological features
Ecology Human impacts on the environment
Relationships between living (plants and animals) and non-living (soil, water, temperature) aspects of the desert environment
River Rate of flow, sediment, etc.
Erosion: steep cliffs vs. wide meanders
Formation of rapids and reading the water (eddies, holes)
Biology Life along the river: species of plants, birds, fish, reptiles, etc.
Native vs. exotic species
Endangered or threatened species
Archaeology Ancient civilizations
Rock art
Astronomy Using star maps; research which constellations will be in the night sky and locate them at night during the trip
How explorers used the stars to navigate and make maps

2–Complete the education project outline. The education project outline is meant to help you to organize your project. You are not graded on it. Turn this in prior to the trip so that we can let the guides and other adults know what your project will be about; that way, they can help find the perfect time and place for you to present your work.

3–Come to your trip prepared.

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