Costa Rica Immersion Tropical Field Research

The Central Texas Science Team is filling spots in our 2022 Costa Rica summer field research program.  We are studying the potential for defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria, based on leaf-cutter ants having developed that same ability. Our field research trip provides students with the microbiological and computational biology tools required for antibiotic discovery.  Our nonprofit has been taking students for almost eight years now.

This is the only field research of its kind in the United States.

Very few summer research opportunities for high school students are original research. But our Costa Rica field research is original research and that makes it even more valuable on the student’s transcript.

Date: July 12-22, 2022
Cost: $3,950 and is inclusive of all food, travel, lodging, activities, and science workshops.

To register for the trip:
Click on “SOC Student Program Registration Portal”
After you make an account, for the school prompt select Central Texas Science Team and make sure the trip date shows July 12-22.
Contact:  Shannon Rizzo at or 512-900-0497
* 10M people will die each year due to lack of antibiotics [1]* The US will be 1M STEM students short of what’s needed [2]* Globally, US high school students are ranked 25th in STEM [3]* Development of critical thinking skills peaks during high school years [4]

During our trip, students experience hands-on field research focused on the biodiversity of the Costa Rican rainforest. They learn how to apply the scientific method while collaborating with fellow students and being mentored by world-renowned experts/scientists who guide them through the research process.

Our programs are designed to help students:
* awaken the natural curiosity & inspire student’s pursuit of STEM-based careers
* develop real-world grit and resilience by trial and error in hands-on research
* collaborate effectively with peers in teams
* communicate professionally to an academic audience

Two areas of field research:
* We spend the first eight days in the rainforest at Finca La Anita Rainforest Ranch, conducting field research.
* We spend the last two days on the coast doing marine biology research at a sea turtle hatchery and participating in sea turtle nesting patrols with local marine conservation leaders. If we’re lucky, we will see a sea turtle lay their eggs at night.

Click here to watch our information session:


Trip Chaperones

Summer Science Expedition is a joint program between Seeds of Change, the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Curry Lab, and the biochemistry department at the University of Costa Rica.

Additional Information

Visit to see photos and testimonials from past trip participants.

Following are links to the blogs of past summer trips, written by the students each day of the expedition:

2019 First Year trip:

2018 First Year trip:

2017 First Year trip:

2016 First Year trip:

2019 Second Year Bioinformatics trip:


Dr. Adrian Pinto, the scientist leading the instruction, is world-renowned.  Dr. Pinto, Clinical Microbiologist, obtained a master’s degree in Microbiology with an emphasis in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Costa Rica (UCR) and a Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology at the University of Wisconsin Madison.  He is a professor at the UCR School of Medicine and heads a research group in symbiotic associations between microorganisms and different animal species, including insects and amphibians, seeking to apply the knowledge generated to solve Human Health problems. (Dr. Pinto is in this documentary with Stephen Fry)

REFERENCES[1] 2016 Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Commission By the United Kingdom[2] American Action Forum Report 2016[3] The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 ranking[4] U of Chicago Huttenlocher- International Journal of Neurology 1983