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SOLSTICE: Summer of Learning - Students and Teachers Investigating the Chesapeake Environment

HSF catch SOLstice students investigating the inhabitants of the living shoreline at Hull Springs Farm

For Liberal Studies Majors - Becoming Excellent Teachers for Tomorrow

Courses in the SOLSTICE program are offered during the summer terms and, while mostly online, each course includes one week in residence at Longwood's Hull Springs Farm in Westmoreland County just off the Chesapeake Bay.  The week in residence at HSF- room, board, field trips and other activities - is supported by a STEM grant and requires no cost to the student beyond the normal tuition.  In the spirit of interdisciplinary, real-world thinking, all courses in the SOLSTICE program include and reflect on these goals:

  • Environmental Awaremess
  • Engaged Citizen Leaders
  • Place as Text


Science and Civic Issues

Additional goals for the science courses

  • To engage practicing and pre-service teachers actively in scientific investigation, emphasizing inquiry learning
  • To increase the participants’ content knowledge of selected Chesapeake Bay issues
  • To introduce participants to tools, techniques and technology used in field data Collection Watershed Educational Experiences for their own students
  • To engage pre-service teachers with practicing scientists and natural resource professionals
  • To inspire pre-service teachers to become teacher-researchers.
  • To introduce participants to valuable resources that can enrich their students’ classroom and field experiences
  • To focus on issues and environmental subjects included in the Virginia Science Standards of Learning


Writing and Civic Issues

Additional goals for the writing courses

  • Develop instructional plans through collaboration and inquirey learning
  • Increase literacy instruction content knowledge
  • Practice in researching and creating multi genre texts
  • Engage in discussions with professionals from varied disciplines
  • Utilize "place as text" field experiences and resources to enrich literacy instruction
  • Focus on the literacy knowledge, skills, and understandings in the Virginia 2010 English Standards of Learning