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The Sustainability Institute
Creating Leaders for a Sustainable Future
Summer 2016   “The Future of Water”

Week 1 in Philadelphia  Monday, June 20 - Friday, June 24
Week 2 in San Francisco Sunday, June 26 -Friday, July 1st  

Registration deadline: May 15th, 2016 

Program Director Wendy Furry,

Email at
Phone: (215)-545-5323
Fax: (215)-546-1798

Calling young leaders in sustainability! 

The Sustainability Institute is an amazing new adventure that will prepare you to take diverse, informed perspectives on the toughest issues facing our planet’s future. Don’t just read about the issues; come on a journey with us as we travel coast to coast to impacted ecosystems, hear directly from experts, do hands-on science, see cutting edge technologies, and make a difference.  For rising 7th-11th graders.

Program Highlights

Week 1: Philadelphia Highlights include:

  • Schuylkill River Kayak/canoe trip
  • Intro to Global Water Crisis
  • UN Simulation Summit on Water
  • Chemistry experiments in the Delaware River
  • Ocean Health with the Camden Aquarium
  • Service Projects with Green City, Clean Waters
  • Amazing sights and adventures

Week 2: San Francisco Highlights include:

  • Urban Water and Zero Waste with the Exploratorium
  • Service Project building Green Water Infrastructure
  • Water Use on a Sustainable farm in Marin
  • Giacomini Wetlands Field Study with Rangers in Point Reyes Seashore
  • Beach fires, beautiful hikes and lifelong friends

Enrollment Options

Option 1:  Full Program – 2 Weeks (6/20 to 7/1)  - Philadelphia & San Francisco

Option 2:  Philadelphia Only – 1 Week (6/20 to 6/24) – For Philadelphia Residents Only

Option 3:  San Francisco Only – 1 Week (6/28 to 7/1) – For San Francisco Residents Only 


The Sustainability Institute at the Philadelphia School (TPS) is a summer program designed to educate young leaders about pressing issues in environmental science. Rising 7th through 11th graders from TPS and its partner progressive school will gain first-hand field experience in dramatically different ecosystems to order to gain a deeper understanding of one complex global issue each year.

Philadelphia students begin with an exciting week-long eco-study of our city. Together we will interview experts, discover important history, perform ecological service-learning and explore hands- on science for deep immersive learning. The following week, we travel together to our partner school, Presidio Hill School’s home city of San Francisco, California. There our students will meet to explore and examine the problem from an entirely different perspective.

Along the way, students will create an educational film documenting our journey to share with the TPS community, our partner school, and the wider world of environmental education for teens.

Our goal is to prepare thoughtful, informed young leaders for a environmentally sustainable future.

Theme for 2016: The Future of Water

The theme of 2016 will be “The Future of Water.” To that end, we have formed a partnership with Presidio Hill School, a progressive school committed to environmental stewardship in San Francisco, CA.
Together in Philadelphia we’ll examine the water crisis by discovering how changing rainfall patterns and over-paving are resulting in a rise in flash-floods, with untreated sewage and industrial pollutants flowing directly into rivers with every storm.
We’ll contrast these issues to the Bay Area of San Francisco where we will learn about how droughts created by changing rainfall patterns collide with population and industry expansion to create intense water shortages. Our students will examine these problems, and how both cities are meeting them in unique and inventive ways, and will take action inspired by what they learn.

Accommodations for San Francisco

We will be staying at two amazing locations for groups visiting the Bay Area. We will begin at Rob Hill Campsite, right in the middle of the beautiful Presidio, overlooking the golden gate bridge. We will be renting camping equipment onsite, so no need to bring tents or sleeping bags across the country. This beautiful site is walkable to Crissy Field beach, and to the campus of our partner school, Presidio Hill.

Here is a website where you can learn more about this site:

The second half of the trip we will be in Point Reyes California, at the HI Point Reyes Hostel. We are renting the entire “Bunkhouse” which means private lodgings with our own kitchen, dining area, common room, bathrooms, and outdoor seating. We will be walking distance to the beautiful Limatour beach, and to the Center of Pacific Coast Science and Learning Center which will be a focal point for our science, service and adventure in Point Reyes. 

Here is a website where you can learn more about this special place: