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Sustainable Paths

Secondary Schools Offer Varied Options for Environmental Science

Opportunities for high school students to study environmental science are growing alongside the frequency with which issues relating to sustainability are featured in the media. Documenting this trend, Education Week reported that of the 30 topics available for AP courses, geography and environmental science are among the fastest growing in recent years. The number of students taking the AP exam in geography, for example, quadrupled between 2006 and 2011.

Curricula and activities to build such knowledge also expand far beyond such classes. Some schools, such as Millbrook School, in New York, have integrated environmental stewardship into their mission statements. Others, such as the Conserve School, in Wisconsin, and The Mountain School, in Vermont, offer semester programs that balance intellectual inquiry with experiential learning in nature. Choate Rosemary Hall, in Connecticut, offers an on-campus environmental immersion program, while Deerfield Academy, in Massachusetts, has oriented its pilot program for a multi-year, research-based AP course around global water use.

This is just a sampling of how schools are working across disciplines to challenge students’ research skills, deepen understanding, and encourage critical thinking around the most debated and discussed environmental questions of our time.

Jeremy McGeorge specializes in serving families whose children need therapeutic services as part of their educational plan. He is also Bertram's point person on sustainable education. He can be reached at