As the academic year inches toward a close and the weather gets warmer, some students inevitably get the urge to leave school and spend time outside.
One group of students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS) doesn’t have to wait until the summer to spend time outdoors during the week. They have been spending a part of class time outside all year.
The 28 members of the Watershed Integrated Study Program (WISP) leave school once every two weeks during their last period of the day and fan out to a variety of bodies of water from Laurel to Upper Marlboro to run chemical and physical tests. Four of the sites are in Greenbelt, including the stream above Greenbelt Lake, the stream below the Lake and two spots on Still Creek.
“I honestly think they really enjoy being outside,” said Alex Kinder, the WISP coordinator, during an interview in his classroom. “I think many of them don’t get that opportunity as much as they would like. At the training [before the program started] I could tell a lot of them were excited to be there, excited to get their feet wet … and get their hands dirty.”