Between 2008 and 2015 the program has benefited 15 generations of 18 schools in 8 counties, thanks to the partnerships with Parque La Libertad, "Aprender y Crecer" program, the Municipality of Cartago, the Municipality of Belén and Tirimbina Biological Reserve. That means more than 21,000 students and nearly 800 teachers have participated in the program. In addition, more than 100 activities have been developed, including tours, games, crafts and experiments.
A comprehensive evaluation of a program like this represents a huge challenge due to the amount of resources needed, not only economic but because of the time need it to produce and gather data and the complexity of a proper analysis. It was therefore decided to first assess the acquisition of ecological knowledge by the participants, to further assess the impact on awareness, attitudes and values formation, the ability to evaluate the environmental situation and if there is a responsible participation
This research was developed in 2010 as Graduation Project by a student of the Biology with emphasis in Heritage Interpretation specialization (from the University of Costa Rica) and it demonstrated the efficiency of the program producing meaningful learning of the contents in the offical programas by comparing the knowledge acquired by participants with those from a control group.
Surveys were also used with students and teachers from the participating schools to determine satisfaction levels and it was found that both students and teachers believe that the program enables a better integration of knowledge compared to conventional classes.
Since the nerve connections can change and grow only when there is attention and interest in the activity, another basic factor for learning is the motivation of the learner. The joy with which students expect the visit to Los Coyotes and the willingness with which they engage in the activities facilitate their learning greatly. Promoting healthy competition and cooperation through teamwork, employing strategies that take into account individual differences and providing a space different from the classroom to develop social and cognitive skills are likely causes for high levels of student satisfaction.
The "Classroom in the Forest" program not only meets all the elements of constructivist theories and meaningful learning but it also promotes what neurobiology experts described as appropriate conditions for the biological learning system in children: “a complex secure environment with room to explore, fresh air, good food, water and playmates”.