Adventure is now in session

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The Association for Experiential Education visits the library at UVU to talk about out of class learning. Andrew Peterson/UVU Review

The annual Association for Experiential Education Rocky Mountain Regional Conference took place in the library on Feb. 25.

Experiential education, also referred to as location-based education, is the practice of moving students out of the classroom, and by extension, the textbook and applying more hands-on training and experience.

Students, teachers and professionals from across the region gathered in the Lakeview room on Friday for the opening event.

There are a total of six regions in the U.S. Utah is included in the region spanning from Montana to New Mexico.

Workshops and discussions were held throughout the event, each focusing on different applications of experiential education.

Mike Merryweather, a speaker at the conference, gave a presentation on the benefits of family therapy over individual therapy. Merryweather believes that family therapy allows families to grow together and form stronger bonds of trust, something that individual therapy doesn’t give to the family.

“Psychology suggests that people learn easier and more efficiently through experiential education,” said Courtney Coe, a student from the Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Experiential education has many different applications, ranging anywhere from teamwork building exercises to individual and family therapy.

One application is adventure education, where a trained educator takes a group into a wilderness setting where they are removed from the public and taught team building skills. Many different corporate retreats are sponsored group adventure education events to help promote teamwork between coworkers.

“We can learn from textbooks, but then we find ways to take that knowledge and apply for the experience,” said Betsy Lindley, an exercise science teacher at UVU.

There are also a variety of jobs available. Lindley listed a few, namely teachers, environmental education organizations, adventure educators, tour guides at resorts. Even jobs with federal agencies like the forest and park rangers.

The conference encouraged job networking opportunities for ambitious students looking to get involved with AEE or any experiential education organization.

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