Rocking the Boat logo


2020 – 2022


Bronx, NY

Rocking The Boat


Rocking the Boat’s (RtB) Environmental Student 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.

Students concentrate on mastering required STEM technical skills in field research, and after two years of experiential learning, they are eligible to be promoted to apprentice positions in the Environmental Job Skills Program.

SCOPE 2021
  • Engage 44 high school students from New York City public schools in direct research projects on water quality, oyster restoration, and bird migration data collection and analysis.
  • Work with students to create a salt marsh nursery to grow and later transplant it, thus directly restoring coastal NYC saltmarsh habitat.
  • Develop and implement 12-month staff and Board training on Anti-Racism and DEI, and integrate this into RtB’s core strategic priorities and staff recruitment support practices.
SCOPE 2020
Scope 2020
  • Engage 32 high school students in the Environmental Science Program
  • Develop research products on water quality, oyster restoration, and migratory bird data collection for state regulatory agencies that students directly contribute to.
  • Engage students in long-term STEM education throughout high school.
  • Advance students to the Environmental Job Skills level as junior and senior apprentices after two years in the program.

About Rocking The Boat

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.

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