Thomas County Central High School Advanced Placement students recently explored a hidden treasure while putting classroom lessons into real-world applications. Thirty-one students visited the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, approximately one hour from Thomasville. Students currently taking or who already completed AP Environmental Science and AP Statistics could attend. Teachers Dr. Phil Coppola (APES) and Kelsey Hanna (AP Stats) chaperoned.
The excursion aimed to observe migrating monarch butterflies at this key stopover location en route to their summering grounds in Mexico. Students learned about public land conservation and the refuge’s role – specifically native, invasive, and at-risk species – and collected field data. AP Statistics students will use the gathered information to study links between data collection, analysis and interpretation.
This is the first year these classes collaborated on such a joint learning project, but given the trip’s success, future adventures may find their way onto lesson plans.