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A Cool Summer: The Trip To Iceland

Lauren Berta, Editor-in-Chief

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The landscape around you is stunningly beautiful, glistening with white snow, and the day is full of plans to trek across the fields of a foreign land: new places, new sights, new adventures.
This is Iceland, home to a little under 340,000 people and a series of glaciers, volcanoes, hot springs, lava fields, and geysers.
A group of eager science students made this trip a reality over the summer, June 21-27.
Homestead’s science teacher Nancy Bogdanowicz planned the trip and coordinated with Education First Tours (EF), a tour guide service focused on education. EF was able to offer the group of students and staff the unique opportunity to explore Iceland alongside other EF tour groups.
“We stayed in the capital Reykjavík for most of the trip, but we also explored some of the countryside and another city [Hvolsvöllur],” Reagan Roller (12) said.
One of the group’s focuses on the trip was to experience the country’s landscape and culture.
“We visited shops sometimes but we mostly went to the outskirts of those cities, [Reykjavík and Hvolsvöllur], and visited the beautiful environment the country had,” Cleopatra Schiffli-Sloffer (12) said. “One time we went into the outback . . . and went up a mountain with snow.”
The students got to be adventurous on the tour as well, participating in several memorable planned activities. One example is the glacier walk, where students hiked up a glacier.
“The glacier was scary to hike up but the hike was well worth it,” Jacy Sharp-Warner (12) said. “[It was] absolutely breathtaking. It was surreal.”
Another focus of the trip was to learn about renewable and clean energy, of which Iceland is a pioneer. The students had the opportunity to tour a geothermal power plant to learn more about what makes the country clean.
“I learned that 100% of Iceland’s energy is renewable,” Schiffli-Sloffer said. “[One thing they also do is] they charge people for plastic bags if they ask for one at the store, which I think is a great way to keep the environment clean from plastic!”
Among all the memorable things that happened, there were parts of the trip that stood out from others.
“One of the best parts of the trip was going to this athletic center which had a pool, hot tubs and a slide,” Roller shared. “It was about 40 degrees Celsius but that was compensated for by the fact that it was a heated pool. It wasn’t planned but it was a fun bonding moment within our group and with the other EF tour groups.”
Overall, the trip was a unique break from the summer heat and the students who went greatly enjoyed the experience.
“It was like no other place I have ever seen,” Roller said. “It was such a peaceful and special place.”

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