VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Science educators from Virginia Beach City Public Schools are helping high school students make the connection between the environment and the community of Hampton Roads.

The Environmental Studies Program, housed in a special classroom as part of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, takes approximately 100 high school students into the field to collect data, conduct lab studies and work through real-world experiments.

This program is put together in an effort to prepare the students for science education and careers beyond high school.

“When you don’t have walls, there’s no limits that are blocking a students passion or blocking a student from being engaged in the community,” said Chris Freeman, the program coordinator. He, along with his staff, is redefining the meaning of a classroom.

By making the connections between the environment and the community, students have the opportunities to develop internships and relationships with those solving similar environmental work that’s done throughout the program.

“That’s really being a facilitator opposed to being a teacher,” added Freeman. “These kids can teach us, teach each other, and be change makers in the community today.”

Learn more about the program and how to apply here.