Masters Thesis

Youth rites of passage through environmental education in Humboldt County

The Outward Bound mission to achieve a "deeper intensity of commitment in the rite of passage from youth to adult life" is combined with the academic mission of schooling to create Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound (ELOB). This Master's project focuses on the design of an ELOB program for 6th-8th grade students in Humboldt County, California, and draws on the unique resources of the City of Arcata. ELOB guidelines have been used to develop the plan fora program entitled Sustainable Community Program and an accompanying curriculum including guiding questions, learning goals (aligned with the 6th-8th grade Science Content Standards for California Public Schools), projects, assessment, and resources for each of six key projects. The Sustainable Community Program's six major projects are: 1) a wilderness trip; 2) a visit to a demonstration home on sustainable living; 3) a study of a bicycle delivery service that delivers recyclables; 4) a hands-on chemistry lesson at the recycling center; 5) a hands-on chemistry lesson at an organic farm, and 6) a culminating service project planned and carried out by the students. Each project addresses the overarching learning goals through specific activities. This Master's project contains two documents: 1) the Sustainable Community Curriculum Plan, and 2) a detailed guide to the first two projects. The purpose of this Master's project is to create an education program that can serve the people of Humboldt County by empowering youth with the knowledge, understanding, and skills needed to sustain their community.