The Environmental Studies Program introduces new learning opportunities for students

ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES STUDENTS “seine” along Crab Creek. The students use this activity gain hands-on experience about the native species in the waterways. (Morgan Lynch)

The Brock Environmental Studies Program (ESP) welcomes students as they relaunch a new program that was scheduled to begin last year. 

The program offers environmental learning opportunities, community partnerships, and hands-on S.T.E.M experiences. The goal of the school is to broaden students’ learning by taking them out of their normal classroom setting and comfort zone to work on real life problems and issues in our area.

Before entering 11th grade, students are asked to apply in the fall of their sophomore year. The application includes an essay around sustainability, watershed hydrology, and environmental science, all things that the students will study in the program. The program then selects 50 students from a variety of schools, 25 in the morning and 25 in the afternoon to attend classes. When the students move on to their senior year they will begin internships and work with experts in their chosen field.

“I love being a part of the Brock center because we get to spend our days immersed in the outdoors and spend our time working on real life issues and projects,” junior Ava Goldman said.

Local speakers such as the Army Corps of Engineers, landscape architects from Virginia Tech, and Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northham, work to expand kids’ ideas of what a job and work can look like.

According to ESP teacher Dianna McDowell , she loves how excited the students get about coming to school everyday and how even with a small group of students they are becoming their own community.