Gifted Learners Visit Point Reyes


Rachel Szymanski, Staff Writer

AGATE students visited the Point Reyes National Seashore from February 12-14 as part of the annual spring field study program.

Participants will create projects based on their experiences during the trip. Some of those unique experiences included learning about the process of dairy farming and cheese making as well as visiting an oyster farm to learn about the impact of climate change on the industry.

“We visited local farms and small businesses and museums to basically draw inspiration for our projects. My project will convey some sort of message whether that’s environmental or political,” explained junior Andrew Tseng.

“I’m doing my project on medicinal plants and I’m creating a line of products using the benefits of those specific plants found in the Point Reyes area. On the last day of the trip, a women named Eden, came and taught us how to make a salve out of all natural ingredients so that was super helpful for my project, and she was such a spiritually-aware women, and she was very inspiring. It was cool to hear how to make the salve and to hear it from her perspective,” Junior Emily Barlow explained.

AGATE students also visited the lighthouse where they learned about the natural and cultural history of the area from park rangers. Tsang said, “I think going to the Point Reyes lighthouse was pretty cool. It’s situated on a steep cliff and it’s right next to the Pacific Ocean and it was beautiful. We took some great pictures and we saw a whale. I learned about some of the culture about the native peoples there.”

AGATE adviser Paul Verbanszky said, “This year the weather was incredible; this time they were able to go to the lighthouse. Due to the budget cuts of the national parks we didn’t have as many park rangers present, so I had to step up and was nicknamed ranger Paul.”

“AGATE pulls from every school in the district so it was super fun to meet new people and collaborate on ideas and share our projects and bounce ideas off each other. It was super fun to learn what everyone is doing for their projects and different fields everyone is interested in and it was really fun to meet new people,” said Barlow.