Selected students and teachers from Tamasek Junior College and Nanyang Girls High School of Singapore and Maurick College, Vught, the Netherlands joined students from the MCSMHS in May 2011. Over several school days in advance of the field experience, students meet at the MCSMHS to share their school experiences in the different countries, and receive training in the use of the data collecting equipment. Early Saturday morning, participants travelled from Manhattan to the Lamont campus in Palisades, NY. During morning and afternoon shifts, students rotated among stations in the Tallman Mountain State Park near the Lamont campus to conduct soil chemistry and tree-ring/forest species studies, or paddled canoes through Sparkill Creek at the edge of the park to reach locations where water samples were collected. Ten LDEO scientists, grad students, and supporters of the ASRP came as volunteers to assist the organizers and teachers from Singapore and the Netherlands.
At the end of the day, everyone rode to the Alpine Boat Basin of the Palisades Interstate Park-New Jersey Section for overnight camping on the shores of the Hudson River, which also helped unite the students through an experience that is not what they expect in a trip to New York City. On Sunday, students returned to LDEO to analyze their data using chemical kits and the same equipment used by Tree Ring Lab scientists. During the next week at MCSMHS, students continued their analytical investigations, and provided preliminary results through a poster session held in conjunction with the ASRP Awards Program.
Student responses gathered by a survey were overwhelmingly positive. Many cited the opportunity to use scientific equipment in the field and from the canoes, interacting with students from other parts of the world, and engaging in activities unlike any in previous experiences in their home cities. All students indicated that they plan to continue research projects when they go to college. Future collaborations among the schools may involve travel to Singapore and the Netherlands by MCSMHS students, submission of research results to national and international science fair competitions, and inclusion of students-collected data in research efforts by the scientists.