Student Explorers Program
11-12 year olds
9 day basecamp outside classroom
Located in the remote region of northern Alaska in the area of Anaktuvuk Pass, the Brooks Range, offers miles of beautiful hiking and exploring. On this Student Explorers Program, you will learn hiking skills to explore the wilderness, gain critical thinking skills, and how to emerge as a environmental steward. Explorers will work towards a common goal of environmental stewardship through a project designed by our Teacher Fellowship Program. Through this program you will gain self confidence, find you are way more capable than you imagine, and form lasting friendships.
The Program Specifics
The program begins with a two-mile hike to our Basecamp outside classroom where we will be camping the duration of the program. Students will sleep in tents, have class outside and or in our dome classroom tent. At camp, students will work together to create community norms and learn from our instructors how to create a fun, safe, program atmosphere. Some camp skills include maintaining shelters, helping cooking meals, and helping with leadership through out the days. Along the way, students will encounter hundreds of natural wonders, including arctic terns soaring overhead, meandering streams of crystal clear waters, ptarmigan running through the willows, and with a dash of hope a large herd of caribou grazing in the distance.
Along with the wilderness aspect of this program, students will have two formal lessons a day surrounding the climate crisis within the arctic. Teachers will help students understand global warming concepts and guide them in a project where their voices can emerge. Students will be paired off and given a Teacher Mentor to complete a “Expedition Presentation” at the end of program. The students will use knowledge learned from program, experiences they had, and ideas they have generated; to create an interactive presentation for everyone to enjoy. These presentations will be filmed and shared online after the course.
This program will introduce explorers to the ideas of leadership, character development, and environmental stewardship. Explorers will begin to develop these skills in our program, so that they can continue to grow once they return home. Instructors and teachers will work to challenge students to try new things and step outside their comfort zones. We hope our explorers come to learn that ultimately, there is no difference between "their world" and "our world.” Climate change in the Arctic threatens communities there and elsewhere - we are building connections so young people can work together across geographical and cultural divides to address environmental threats.
For some of our Student Explorers, DTE is the first time away from home. Thus, each student group is a maximum of 10 explorers and is accompanied by three instructors and six teachers to increase the care, supervision, and guidance for each explorer. We design our programs to set Student Explorers up for success no matter your background.
Course start - Flights to Fairbanks, Alaska, Hike to BaseCamp
learn about camp craft, community norms, weeks agenda, get to know you games
Explore Brooks Range, outside of Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska
Work on Climate Change Projects
Go on Day Hikes
Visit the History Museum
Course end and flight to Fairbanks, Alaska
Are you interested in joining a Student Explorer’s Program?
As an organization we require no prior wilderness experience, and or understanding of climate science. We encourage students to apply who are willing to learn and explore in an Arctic environment. The program will possibly include 2-5 miles of hiking per day and some physical tasks around camp.
The Experience: is a tuition-free program
Diversity of backgrounds: a range of racial, ethnic, cultural, economic, family, and geographic backgrounds.
We are looking for you!
Down to Earth Expeditions combines climate science, curiosity, and wilderness exploration. We are looking for students who want to tell their story and are open to connecting to other students. Our application process is to learn about who you are as a person, what intrigues you, what you think is fun and engaging. Down to Earth Expeditions chooses explorers who dare to dream.