CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. -- A new program at the Academy of Environmental Science in Citrus County is giving teens the chance to get scuba certified as part of their P.E. class.
- Students completing nine-week program for scuba certification
- School plans to certify 100 students by end of school year
- Want to donate or help? Click here to learn how
For ninth graders Chance Beaver and Gwendolyn Schoenthal, the chance to gear up and hit the water for P.E. is something they couldn't miss out on.
"I've always wanted to do scuba diving," Beaver said.
"I think it's amazing," Schoenthal added.
They're part of just a handful of students completing a nine-week program to get their scuba certification, giving them a jump start into potential careers.
"This allows them to have a greater depth of knowledge to get down deep into the water possibly think about conservation and things that they would do using scuba in their future," P.E. Teacher Tracy Buettner said.
This is one of the few schools in the county giving high schoolers the chance to get certified during the school day.
The local dive instructors are volunteering their time to help train the students, hoping this skill will help grow an interest in exploring the environment.
And the students say that interest has certainly already been sparked.
"The fact that you can just go down there and you can explore everything and you don’t have to take any breaks," Beaver said.
"I like the idea of the opportunity to see a whole 'nother basically world," Schoenthal explained.
While they're just starting to learn underwater skills in the pool right now, they'll work their way up to larger bodies of water by the time the program is complete.
The school plans to certify 100 students by the end of the year.
Administrators say they are using some of their funds and the instructors and donating some of their equipment for the program. They say parents are also purchasing some of the supplies. However, they are looking for donations. If you’d like to help head to www.citruseducation.org/donate