Pre-Collegiate Education

Sustainability Exploration Program (SEP)

@ the College of Design, Construction and Planning
University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
Summer 2020 PROGRAM BROCHURE | July 5, 2020 – July 18, 2020


The Sustainability Exploration Program (SEP) is designed for high school students ages 15 to 18 (on the day of registration to learn-through-doing. Students engage with faculty and professionals to create a community design plan that demonstrates how dis-invested communities are an untapped resource to achieve sustainability goals. The SEP project, seminars, and field trips will require hands on engagement with the tools and technology central to furthering sustainability goals in environments, communities an populations. Additionally, this program will teach leadership skills in the process and expose participants to career pathways and demonstrate the wide array of options available to connect individual interests to sustainability.

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Social, scientific, design and economic systems all converge when developing solutions to address climate change and sustainability goals. The Sustainability Exploration Program will teach students about energy, water, food, mapping, design, community planning, and leadership. Students will develop an actual design plan that provides strategies to identify how social impact interventions (poverty reduction, climate and energy, built environment, community health and empowerment) can help achieve climate change goals.

Full immersion to current sustainability issues and experts. Seminars cover various aspects of sustainability, introducing students to best practices and applications of technology and concepts. Lectures and group discussions are led by guest professors during the morning and evening sessions.

Students will explore sites on campus, in Gainesville, and around Central Florida that demonstrate applied sustainability technology, challenges communities face due to climate change, and how corporations apply sustainability practice. Field trips include:

  • Stephen O’Connell Center and the Heavener Football Complex
    • Learn how Gator basketball and football lead the way of the university’s impressive environmentally friendly buildings on campus.
  • St. Augustine, Florida
    • See how coastal communities have been impacted by impacted by sea level rise
  • Walt Disney World (Orlando, Florida)
    • Step behind the scenes of “The Happiest Place on Earth” to see first hand how sustainability is applied throughout its business practice.
  • University Wastewater Treatment Plant
    • Experience a 3 million gallons per day wastewater treatment plant that processes effluent from campus buildings and generates reclaimed water that irrigates over 98% of campus landscapes.

SEP participants will stay on-campus in the newest LEED Gold Certified dormitory suites. This dorm is conveniently located near the College of Design, Construction and Planning. Accommodations are semi-private bedrooms and baths, with coin-operated laundry facilities, student lounges and recreation areas adjacent to the building where students can relax and socialize during free-time. In-house counselors provide 24-hour supervision.

Breakfast and lunch are included in SEP program fees and will be provided from July 6th to July 17th, breakfast will be provided on July 18th. Students are responsible for their own dinner.

Publix, Target and CVS are conveniently located within a short walking distance as are a diverse array of affordable restaurants including Bento, Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, Subway, the Swamp and more. Students should plan to spend $100 per week (approximately) to cover meals not included in the program fee.

COST: $2,250

Program fees include two weeks of instruction, on-campus housing, supplies and materials, Disney World park admission and transportation, travel expenses to St. Augustine, and other local field trips.

The deadline for all application materials is June 30 of each year. There is a $25 non-refundable application fee. To apply, complete the following:

  • Register online (see adjacent link)
  • Email the following application materials to Caroline and Bahar (see Questions & Contacts below):
    • Copy of your current high school transcript
    • SEP Application (see adjacent link)
    • Personal statement (between 500 and 1000 words)
      • Describe your interests in sustainability, your perspective on the current challenges our planet faces, and how you hope to benefit from the program.

Caroline Welch
DCP Dean’s Office

Bahar Armaghani, LEED Fellow
Director & Lecturer
Sustainability and the Built Environment Program

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