BELL: Rhode Island
Sustainable Development and Leadership Development for High School Students
Two-Week Residential Sessions:
June 24 - July 5, 2013
July 8 - 19, 2013
July 22 - August 2, 2013
Note: Move-in is on Sunday
Haffenreffer Estate, Bristol, RI
For students completing 9th-12th grade by June 2013
There is no commuter option for this program.
BELL students live and study on the 372 acre Haffenreffer Estate in Bristol, RI, 15 miles south of Brown’s campus on the cobble beaches of Narragansett Bay. The Estate contains both forest and coastline habitats and is an active research site for Brown scientists from biology, environmental science and anthropology departments.
The site is a perfect setting for learning about human impacts on the environment. The Bay is one of the most biologically diverse and productive ecosystems on earth; its watershed is one of the most densely populated sections in the country. Consequently, it is an excellent place to learn about the challenges of protecting the environment while meeting human needs.
The Study of Sustainable Development
BELL students study sustainable development through the lens of several academic disciplines, including biology, engineering, environmental science and policy. They learn how human demands on the environment often threaten the very ecosystems that keep us alive. They explore the policies, practices and emerging technologies that can reduce our impact. Students have field trips to sustainable organic farms and a boat trip with a local shell fisherman who teaches them about impacts on the shellfishing industry in Rhode Island. Students build solar ovens and hot water heaters in activities designed to teach the principles of solar energy.
Your Action Plan
We believe that it is not enough to understand complex social issues, the questions are, "what will we do with what we know? How will we serve others? How might we work for long term social change?"
We help our students define the issues that they are passionate about and construct a plan for addressing them. We work with you to set realistic goals, identify mentors and resource people and anticipate challenges.
We encourage you to think about some topics before you come to BELL, but most students don't actually know what their action plan will be until they start working on it in class. Your instructors will help you design an action plan that fits your interests and skills.
Listen to some BELL students talk about their experiences
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Below are examples of BELL Student Action Plans:
- Received a grant to install solar panels on a High School
- Developed composting systems or recycling programs
- Constructed a wind turbine at school
- Converted school buses to bio-diesel
- Converted light bulbs at school to CFLs
- Educated other students about alternative energy resources
- Eliminated Styrofoam in county buildings
For more information on how we support students' action plans after the summer is over, please visit our Post Summer page.