Rocking The Boat’s Youth Development Environmental Program is an introductory program for South Bronx high school freshmen and sophomores. Using hand-built wooden boats and hands-on activities, they explore the Bronx River tidal estuary and learn foundational scientific skills, concepts, and the scientific method.
Many students join the Environmental Program with little direct knowledge of or experience with the local natural environment. This program connects students to the natural environment as they learn how to row boats as teams and navigate to different spots on the Bronx River that are only accessible by water. Daily activities introduce the concepts of ecosystems, adaptation, food webs, and teach about the impacts of an unbalanced ecosystem.
Students concentrate on mastering required STEM technical skills in field research, and after two years of experiential learning, they are promoted to juniors and seniors in the Environmental Job Skills Program. Underpinning this progression is each participant’s emerging environmental consciousness and sense of service.
As an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Rocking the Boat empowers young people from the South Bronx to develop self-confidence, set ambitious goals, and gain the skills necessary to achieve them. Students work together to build wooden boats, learn to row and sail, and restore local urban waterways, revitalizing their community while creating better lives for themselves. Kids don’t just build boats, boats build kids.