Stäfa, Switzerland — Hear the World, a global initiative from Phonak, and Global Explorers, a nonprofit educational travel organization, are now accepting applications for the 2011 Hear the World Sound Academy: Amplifying the Grand Canyon.

The Sound Academy will integrate students of mixed hearing abilities who will explore the role that sound plays in people’s lives by experiencing the diverse sound landscape of Grand Canyon National Park.

The latest trip follows the 2010 Hear the World Amazon Expedition, where students explored the intricacies of the constant and varied sounds emanating from the Peruvian Amazon.

The Grand Canyon location was chosen not only for its natural beauty, but also because of the threat of noise pollution coming from visitors, cars, planes, and helicopters.

As a result, the selected students of mixed hearing abilities will learn about the importance of natural sound and hearing preservation. In addition, they will work together with acoustic scientists to collect sound data for the National Park Service.

After the trip, these student ambassadors will launch an online campaign to educate the public about hearing and hearing loss based on what they learned, including a unique sound-themed podcast to be used as a learning tool by the National Park Service.

Valentin Chapero, CEO of Phonak and founder of Hear the World, said in a press statement, “Following the success of the Hear the World Amazon Expedition, we wanted to dive deeper into providing students with the understanding that hearing and sound is not something we should take for granted.”

The Sound Academy will take place from July 31 to August 7, 2011, at various locations of Grand Canyon National Park.

Full-time students, ages 15-20 with and without hearing loss, are eligible to apply. The cost is $1,700, plus round-trip airfare to Las Vegas. However, limited scholarships are available. 

Applications are due February 26, 2011,

To learn more, nominate a student, or apply, please visit the Global Explorer’s Web site.

SOURCE: Hear the World