25 October – 5 November 2015
On 25 October 2015, VSP welcomed seventeen students and two teachers from Yew Chung International School from Shanghai, China. They embarked on an eleven-day visit to northern Thailand with a focus on fieldwork as well as experiencing the wonders the region has to offer.
The trip started with a two-day river study where students looked at the changing characteristics of a local river as water flows. Six accessible sites along the Hao River were chosen, starting at Mork Fa Waterfall. Students split into separate groups according to their focus – geography students looked at physical changes based on the framework of the Bradshaw Model, and biology students looked at the river quality and identifying indicator species.
After a brief introduction to the site, students spent the next two hours gathering relevant data. Although all the testing equipment was provided by VSP, some Yew Chung students also chose to bring their own. The Mork Fa site provided a lot of interesting data, which indicated that it is a typical upstream site with good quality water and a somewhat diverse plant species. Afterwards the group enjoyed the obligatory swim when visiting the waterfall.
Students continued their investigation downstream through the five other sites and observed the various degrees of human influence on the water coming from villages, rice fields, small factories and construction sites. The locals’ dependence on this river in their everyday life and work is strong but it is not without consequence. Students were able to note both positive and negative examples of impacts on the water as they worked their way down to the last river site, situated in front of Huay Sai Temple, just behind the Traidhos Farm. The data gathered will provide an interesting analysis for students upon their return to the classroom in Shanghai.