Personally, I'm not sure that I would have been as motivated to map an obscure river in an area with piranhas, understandably hostile indigenous people, and large bugs. This is also why I will never live south of the state of Ohio! But this group felt that it was important enough that they kept going despite wounds, catastrophes, and danger of starvation.
A lot of students will have a picture in their minds of Roosevelt ala Night in the Museum. This is a great adventure tale that will make them understand and appreciate not only how dedicated Roosevelt was to conquering new experiences but to what lengths people went, not too long ago, to discovering unknown parts of the world. There are no longer that many opportunities to do this!