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Summer in Costa Rica

The Delicate Connection of People & the Biology of the Rainforest

Costa Rica

We invite you to experience the rainforest in a field-based, 14-day course that explores the Costa Rican rainforest. Through hands-on investigations, discover its unique environment and the community and the culture of the people who live there.

Our goal is to learn how to construct a meaningful, unsentimental, and accurate curriculum on rainforest ecology and the issues surrounding rainforest conservation. To this end we will meet with local people, such as conservationists, farmers, hotel owners, artists, and teachers and visit local schools. We will also meet with expert biologists for hands-on experiences with bats, birds, insects, butterflies, monkeys, flowers, and plants. 

Most of all, you will learn practical and thoughtful ways of teaching children about nature and social studies through inquiry. You will also learn how to teach children about far-away places, including use of technology, so you can explore and teach about the rainforest through an interdisciplinary perspective in your own classroom or museum setting.

Course Information

Course Name: The Delicate Connection of People & the Biology of the Rainforest: Implications for Curriculum (Grades 2 - 8) TEED648N

Course Dates: August 3 - 17, 2018

Course prices 2018:

Tuition Type



Lodging, most meals, local transportation, and guest speakers


Scholarship for 1st 10 applicants

Total Cost

No Credit (80 CTLE)





2 Credits*





3 Credits*





Please note: Participants are responsible for purchasing airfare and travel insurance. Transfers to and from the San Jose, Costa Rica airport are included for those who arrive at the airport before Noon on August 3rd. More details will be provided as we plan for the program.

*This course may fulfill the science requirement (EDUC 535 or EDUC 551) for matriculated students. Consult with your advisor for more details.

**$500 in funding from an anonymous doner is available for the first 10 students who register, as listed in the chart above. You will be notified of receipt upon acceptance to the program.

Apply online or download the Application (word). (Applications received by April 3, 2018 will be given priority)

Have questions?
Meet the faculty at the information table on December 6th, 4-6 pm,in the Bank Street Lobby,
610 W 112th Street, NYC

Guest Expert- Highlight

Mr. Wainwright works independently as an illustrator, writer, instructor for tropical ecology courses, and naturalist guide. He has also worked as a field assistant for research projects on amphibians and butterflies. His publications include five titles in the Costa Rica Field Guide series: Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians, Tracks, and Cloud Forest Birds. He has illustrated two similar guides for Belize and one for Panama. He has written and illustrated two books: The Natural History of Costa Rican Mammals (2000) and the children's book Jungle Jumble (1997). Currently he is finishing work with a colleague on a compact disc of Costa Rican frog calls.


Helena"Bats, Blue Morphos, rain on huge leaves, sunsets of purple and red, fellow teachers to talk about how to bring this marvelous experience back to our classrooms.

I attended Bank Street's 16-day course (which you can take for credit or not) "The Delicate Connection of People and the Biology of the Rainforest" in the cool and comfortable mountains of Costa Rica in August. Highlights included: Holding bats we netted; hiking the Children's Eternal Rain Forest and learning how children of the world bought this amazing forest for posterity: and marveling at the flight of hummingbirds and the iridescence of Morphos. Not to forget climbing up the inside of a fig tree.

And I brought back to my classroom an amazing array of new ideas and projects to do with my third graders.

I can't recommend this course more highly to my fellow Bank Street alumni."

Helena Chan, '86