GALAPAGOS GRADES 9–11 SWITZERLAND GRADES 9–11
In the footsteps of Charles Darwin and the Beagle, International High School students traveled to the Galápagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador. Fac- ulty chaperones Mauricio Albrizzio and Catherine
Brown led the students on a remarkable journey for a
close-up peek at this highly protected ecosystem.
The students traveled to the islands of Santa Cruz,
where they visited the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora. On San Cristóbal they volunteered at the Hacienda Tranquila, where they worked
removing an invasive species of blackberry bush
and planting a native plant, Lecocarpus darwinni, to
restore the ecosystem for the tortoises.
Back in Quito, the group toured the UNESCO World
Heritage colonial center of the Ecuadorian capital
before heading to the Cotopaxi volcano, where they
climbed to a 15,000-foot refuge to witness firsthand
volcanic geology and glaciations.
The highlight of our first day was a visit to the Basel Paper Mill, where we learned about he history of paper and the paper-making process. For over 400 years the process involved a mix of cellulose, water, glue, and linen rags,
and under the instruction of the mill staff, we made
our own sheets employing these old techniques.
Using a strainer with a wooden frame (pictured
above),we collected the pulp into the correct shape,
then used a presser to dry out the wet sheets.
The mill was once used by monks who had no way of
writing things down, as there was no paper in Basel.
When a paper-making family came to Basel from
Italy, the monks employed them to repurpose twelve
corn mills into paper mills, which ended up creating
the best paper in Europe at the time. Paper took up
to two months to make, which is why 50 pieces of
paper could cost as much as a small half-house in the
center of Basel.