Experiential Learning School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Welcome to the Ferrum College School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.  Along with the schools of Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences and Professional Studies, Ferrum College is pleased to offer a comprehensive, hands-on or experiential approach to learning.

Ferrum’s Environmental Science Program is a great example of our engaging approach to learning. The short Video below shows how students interact with faculty while getting their hands dirty and their feet wet while loving every minute of it.

Internships offer students in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics even more opportunities to learn by doing.  A great example is the College’s relationship with the Fairystone Wildlife Management Area.  Owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is a remote region where students have been studying the habits of wild game by using special motion sensor cameras.  In the summer of 2011, students captured images of bobcats, bear, coyotes, deer, turkey and others. 

Once the images have been captured, students work with experienced students study plants and insects near each camera, to determine connections between animals and the environment.

If there is a program that signifies Ferrum’s commitment to the environment, and the College’s ability to make a serious impact, it’s the Smith Mountain Lake Water Quality program.  Headed up by Dr. Carolyn Thomas, the program has monitored water quality at Smith Mountain Lake for more than two decades.  With student help the research has lead to cleaner water in the regions most popular water spot

In Belize, students travel from rainforest to reef, learning how people in Central America live among jungle inhabitants.

Students study Mayan ruins, and examine how the jungles and reefs attract tourists. The video below shows the adventures students enjoyed in May of 2011

Fast Fact:  The Mayan ruins in Belize are still the nation's highest structures.

Life at Ferrum College mirrors the topics that students study in their classes.  There is a heavy emphasis on sustainability -- or our responsibility to the environment and future generations.  There are energy competitions in the dorms, recycling projects, and a biomass boiler that burns leftover materials from the lumber industry to generate heat, hot water and energy on campus. 

Ferrum College boasts its own farm, the Titmus Agricultural Center.  Gardens at the farms are used to grow produce that is served the the cafeteria, which serves the campus local foods initiative.