Saturday Environmental Academy

2018 Spring Program will run March 17 - May 12. Schedule will be online in March.
Click here to download the Spring 2018 Information Form and Application.

The Saturday Environmental Academy (SEA) currently offers two 8-week programs (fall and spring), recruiting students from local area schools, tutoring programs, and church and community groups. SEA’s program complements the science curriculum offered by the District’s middle schools. Seven sessions are held on Saturdays from 8:45am to 1pm, and there is one overnight during each semester program from Saturday morning until Sunday afternoon.

SEA involves students in a wide variety of outdoor learning opportunities that provide the students with a deeper understanding of the Anacostia River, the watershed community, and the impact that people have on the natural world.


Typical Activities
During each 8-week fall and spring program, the Saturday Environmental Academy engages students in multiple activities, such as:

  • Boat trips on the Anacostia with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Living Classrooms, and National Capital Area Women's Paddling Association
  • Trips to Theodore Roosevelt and Kingman Islands
  • Visits to the National Museum of Natural History, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and the National Zoo
  • Overnight camping trips with Echo Hill Outdoor School and Hard Bargain Farm
  • Visits to local school and community gardens and farmer's markets
  • Service activities like tree plantings and river cleanups with the Anacostia Watershed Society and Student Conservation Association
  • Viewings of movies in the annual DC Environmental Film Festival
  • Visits to local National Parks such as Fort Dupont, Rock Creek, and Great Falls

The curriculum is drawn from materials developed by national leaders in environmental education. Lessons employ a number of teaching methods to accommodate the needs of each individual student, and are designed to encourage student-centered learning. The students work in teams, guided by a teacher, organizing themselves and setting their own goals and tasks.

Through the use of concrete experiments and hands-on activities, SEA students discover the River’s problems for themselves, while at the same time developing their critical thinking, problem solving, and decision making skills. The curriculum is designed so that the students’ experiences build on each other from class to class, leaving them at the end with a concrete body of new knowledge. SEA’s program is unique because of its length, staff consistency, ratio of adults to students, and focus on middle/junior high school students.

For more information on SEA, please contact Catherine Estes, [email protected].



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