By Amy Yensi

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A group of Baltimore County teens return from their expedition to northern Canada.

As Amy Yensi explains, the students are more determined than ever to study climate change.

The program has made other trips to the Arctic in the past, but this go-around the students got to explore and research a larger region than ever before.”

Their mission was to gather data about climate change and its impacts.

“We collected plants at each site,” says student Matthew Hudes.

“That’s just really important that we’re getting this information and that we’re sharing it,” says student Lexi Mantilla.

The program teamed up with Parks Canada for the first time, allowing the students to survey Wapusk National Park by helicopter.

Park School biology, chemistry, and physics teacher Julie Rogers helped organize the expedition.

“So we were able to get maybe double the amount of data,” she says.

“The kids are there to immerse themselves in science and culture. And realize that these nooks and crannies of the world are worth saving.”

The students endured three plane rides to reach their destination, and two weeks collecting plant and soil samples.

They also enjoyed long hikes and snapping photos of nature.

“plants, caribou, foxes,” says student Mahey Gheis.

The students say the expedition and field work has given them a new perspective. One they would not be able to get, just from reading their textbooks.

“I certainly got a better handle on science outside of the classroom,” says student Anna Connors.

Some of the findings were not scientific.

“I discovered a lot about myself,” says one student.

“I feel fulfilled. I learned something about myself and about the Arctic,” says Tomas Quintero.

The group will be making another trip to the Arctic to study polar bears in the late fall. Organizers are working on a new program for alumni who want to continue their research after graduation.

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