Students invited to join scientific expedition to the US

Frederick Irwin Anglican School student Ben Roots, Halls Head Community College students Naomi Damstra and Heidi Redmond and Mandurah Catholic College student Liam Hannah took part in the NatureBridge program last year.
Frederick Irwin Anglican School student Ben Roots, Halls Head Community College students Naomi Damstra and Heidi Redmond and Mandurah Catholic College student Liam Hannah took part in the NatureBridge program last year.

LOCAL high school students aged 16-18 are invited to apply for an all-expenses paid scientific expedition at one of two National Parks in America, sponsored by Alcoa Foundation.

The two-week NatureBridge scholarship program will bring together 63 students from across the globe at the Yosemite National Park in California and Olympic National Park in Washington this July and August.

Students will explore the UNESCO world heritage sites on a backpacking adventure, get involved in hands-on science projects and become part of a think-tank on environmental issues such as biodiversity and climate change.

Frederick Irwin Anglican School student Ben Roots (16) was one of seven Peel students who made the trip last year and said it was a unique experience that had changed his habits at home.

“I’ve become a lot more conservative with what I use and throw away and how much rubbish I produce,’’ he said.

“I also have a new interest in the environment and take every opportunity I can to get out outdoors and learn about what amazing places are out there.’’

Alcoa of Australia managing director Michael Parker said the NatureBridge program aimed to inspire and empower high school students to become long-term environmental stewards with strong connections to the natural world.

“We are building the next generation of sustainability ambassadors and we strongly believe that being immersed in nature while studying science will have long-term impact on these young people,” Mr Parker said.

A total 288 scholarships have been awarded by the Alcoa Foundation since the inaugural NatureBridge expedition in 2014, 57 of them benefiting students from WA,

The scholarships cover the cost of airfares, visas and the full two-week program.

Applications are open until March 4.

For more information and to apply visit https://naturebridge.org/programs/alcoa-scholars