The Environmental Studies Program at the Brock Environmental Center

Sand, sun, and surf redefines what a classroom can be. The Virginia Beach City Public Schools Environmental Science Program provides juniors and seniors with a unique, immersive learning experience.

Chris Freeman, Environmental Studies Program Coordinator for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, introduces this unique program held at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Brock Environmental Center. The Environmental Studies Program offers a unique opportunity for junior and senior high school students to expand their understanding of sustainable economics and business innovation, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, and natural resource stewardship.

Find out more about CBF's Macon and Joan Brock Classroom and the Virginia Beach City Public Schools' Environmental Studies Program, including how to register.


This is the dawning of a new day for learning in Virginia Beach City Public Schools. The sand, the sun, the surf--it redefines what a classroom can be. Who needs walls when you have this space to learn. Don't get me wrong, the Environmental Studies Program has walls, but instead of being connected to a school, we're connected to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's

Brock Environmental Center. It is the tenth Living Building in the world.

This program has really helped me broaden my sense of what I want to do with my life.

To be able to have these opportunities, like looking at this all, you wouldn't even think it's a classroom, you know. And I really like the emphasis on how it's not just in here, it's everywhere, all your surroundings outside. You've got the Bay right there. All the wildlife from that, just hearing the sounds and everything in the morning. It's so peaceful and I'm really excited to be here, so.

Here you get a chance to expand your horizons and because students attend half day and either the a.m. or the p.m. cohort, you get a chance to collaborate with students from around Virginia Beach, but also maintain connections to your high school community, your friends, your sports, and your clubs.

I've never been so engaged in school, and like, I get up to go to school, which is like, rare for me.

Sustainability and environmental science are the heart of junior year. Immersed in hands-on learning experiences that are rooted in inquiry and curiosity, students aren't just in the role of answering questions they're posing them and conducting authentic investigations to find answers with creativity and innovation or learning by doing.

I feel like it's still a great gateway to learn how research works, uh, what a self-maintained schedule and, uh, like work ethic is because I feel like school does not set you up for that. And cause like you have these assignments to do in high school, but like in college you have the same but like, you have so much more freedom that it's really hard to take in. I feel like getting this with internships in the program itself is a really good preparation.

Junior year is all about redefining what a classroom can be. It's about breaking boundaries and personalizing learning. About seeking happiness and finding joy and adventure. Senior year takes that a step further by giving you the opportunity to personalize an alternative classroom embedded in the community. This is learning with meaning.

This right here could be your classroom. go ahead fill out the application and apply right now.

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