Field Academy Week 2: Sustainability Studies Continue

FA1 From the classrooms on the East End of Long Island to historical sites around the world, this year’s Field Academy courses are providing students with incredible opportunities to learn about culture, people, sports, art, food and humanity. This post provides just a brief glance at their amazing experiences; we invite you to visit the Field Academy blogs to take an in-depth look!

In Mississippi, Ross students have become local celebrities as a result of the service work they are doing in Turkey Creek. They are helping to rebuild homes damaged or destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, as well as cleaning up the science lab in the local public school.


Before making their way to California, the group on the Fire and Ice trip experienced the raw beauty of the Alaska wilderness. They recently strapped on cross-country skis for a trek through Denali National Park and Preserve. A moving interview with their guide provides insight into this amazing stop on their journey.

On the island of St. John, students are studying marine ecology and the coastline. One recent adventure took them to the Annanberg Sugar Mill Plantation.

World Languages and Literature teacher Levi Stribling reported that the team visiting Japan has “gallivanted southerly from one town to the next in search of all the wonderful ways Japan plays a part in the global effort of environmental sustainability.” They have visited Nagoya, Osaka, Okayama, Kurashiki, and Fukuoka, staying in local accommodations and learning about the efficiency of space. They also spent a day wearing traditional kimonos to show respect and honor for the customs and traditions of their host country.


Students touring Cambodia walked through the infamous Killing Fields and visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. They were humbled to meet with survivor Chum Mey at the site, where they learned that, remarkably, he survived because he was the only one at that time who could fix his jailers’ typewriters.


Students discovering the marvels of Turkey explored the Ephesus archaeological site. They described the place as a small city, where almost all the original artifacts are from the Greco-Roman period.

In Sri Lanka, students are learning about Buddhism, visiting holy sites, and listening to the teachings of monks. One special visit was to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy.

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Meanwhile, their schoolmates in Taiwan visited the country’s national history museum and met with members of an aboriginal tribe in the hills of the Ali Mountain. The group in Thailand continues with Muay Thai training (a type of boxing/combat sport).


Back in East Hampton, the art studio in the High School Building was buzzing with excitement as students in the Art and Sustainability class created a beautiful mural with paintings of nature and wildlife and pollutants such as plastics in the ocean. Former faculty member Christina Schlesinger and Molly Weiss, Ross alum and now professional artist, joined the class to lend their expertise.


Elsewhere on campus, the seventh grade Literary Magazine class met with members of the Publishing and Communications team to learn about journalism and the technical details of creating a blog. Dean of World Languages and Literature and published author Jack Hill is teaching the class and helping his students craft different types of articles, including opinion pieces, news stories, and art and film reviews.

Students in the History and Politics of Sports class traveled to Brooklyn to get a firsthand look at the Barclays Center and watch the Nets take on the Charlotte Hornets. To prepare, they studied the politics that surrounded the building of the Barclays Center as well the economic sustainability of sports.


Over in the Innovation Lab @Ross, students are taking a look at the idea of “tiny house” living. For example, they are learning about a professor who is living in a converted dumpster to demonstrate that it is possible to live a more simple life.


Check back next week for news about other groups studying abroad as well as the delicious dishes being served up by the students in the Edible East End class!