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Home » Our Programs » Pre-Trip Requirements » Educational Project » FAQs, Tips, & Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I’m coming from outside the Southwest?

We have heard from some students outside the Southwest that they don’t know what topic to choose because they have never been to this area. The best way for your project to be the most meaningful to you and the other people on your trip is to do a comparative project. For example, if you are interested in animals and you want to do a project about squirrels, find out about the squirrels that live in your area and then find out about the squirrels that live in the Southwest. How are they different? How are they alike? This is great way to share a little about where you are from with your peers.

What if I’m shy or nervous about giving my project?

You wouldn’t be the first participant to be nervous talking in front of a group. There are several ways that you can still do a great project without having to stand up in front of a group.

  • Lead an activity or game. Once everyone else is playing, they aren’t paying as much attention to you.
  • Sit in a circle. Everyone is on the same level.
  • Realize that everyone else is in the “same boat” and will be giving a presentation.
  • Talk with the guides or other adults on the trip and get some ideas and share your concerns. They are a wealth of knowledge.

Educational Project Tips

Choose a topic that interests YOU! If you aren’t interested, it will be difficult to engage your peers.

Choose a realistic topic. Keep it simple but interesting. Challenge yourself but don’t go too far beyond your boundaries. Remember, learning should be fun!

Identify a specific theme and stick to it! “Mountain lions” is a great topic, but just giving random information about them is a lot for you to present and may be too much for your peers to absorb. Choosing a more specific theme from your topic narrows the field. For example, “mountain lions are great hunters.” From here, you can identify the adaptations of mountain lions that make them great hunters. Referring back to your theme throughout the presentation helps the audience connect the information better.

Provide an activity. Your audience will thank you! Activities are a wonderful way to encourage hands-on learning. Games, pair-and-share, trivia questions, etc., engage the audience and make it enjoyable for all. Interaction with the audience is also important. Ask lots of questions to motivate participation from the group. Each person has a different way of looking at an issue and can offer unique information on subjects. Also, it helps those on the trip to feel like they are part of a discussion rather than listening to a lecture.

Use visual aids. Just listening to spoken words is difficult for most people. In general, people learn better through a variety of media. However, this doesn’t mean you need a complex poster. If you are talking about nature and you are in nature, use the nature around you.

Make your project interactive and fun. Design a skit, role play, use demonstrations, create an activity, design a game to play, or include an art project that everyone can do.

Online Resources

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