Field Academy Focuses on Sustainability Issues at Home and Abroad

rome For a three-week period between the Winter and Spring Terms each year, Ross students participate in a variety of intensive on- and off-campus courses covering a wide range of topics. This year, the focus of the studies is once again on issues of sustainability and service in countries across the globe. Courses kicked off on February 22, with several groups departing for international locations while others dove into studies at home on Long Island.

Upon arrival in Namibia, students in the course titled “The Journey Is the Destination” took in the “vast beauty of the Namibian mountain range” surrounding their lodgings. During their stay, they will create photo essays of the breathtaking landscapes and the many geographical anomalies and rich cultures that inhabit this coastal desert. They will also perform community service in the form of educational exchange with local villagers.

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A few groups spent their first days of the term preparing for their trips. Students in the “Sustainability and Support in Zimbabwe Through Service” will be working with school-age children, delivering sport and wellness education. Prior to traveling, they organized the donations they had collected for Hoops4Hope, ZimKids, and the Harare Children’s Home. Items included sporting equipment like basketball uniforms, T-shirts, shoes, nets, whistles, and hats. Other traveling groups, like the “Service and Culture in the Dominican Republic” course, brushed up on the language, culture, and economics of their country of destination. Other international trips are headed for New Zealand, Cuba, Italy, and India.

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Two domestic locations are also featured in this year’s course offerings. Seventh and eighth graders will depart for their “Red State, Blue State, Harper Lee!” course on March 2, traveling from Manhattan to Maycomb, Alabama, to follow the journey taken by the character Scout in Lee’s most recent novel, Go Set a Watchman. Along the way they will study the political divide between red and blue states and consider whether the dichotomy is sustainable. Another seventh and eighth grade group will be traveling to New Mexico for Southwest adventures and an introduction to the Native American cultures of the area.

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Back on the East End, students are immersing themselves in a variety of courses including Art and Activism, How to Survive the Hunger Games, The Greatest 20th and 21st Century Films, Tolkien’s Middle-earth, and Sustainability and Service on Long Island, which will allow students to work with Habitat for Humanity to build an affordable home for a family in need, as well as explore shellfish aquaculture and marine conservation issues.

Field Academy runs through March 11, so keep up to date with Ross students’ adventures by following Field Academy blogs!