Weston University Takes Learning Out of the Classroom

man showing boy survey map

As the Weston University program winds to an end, students are reflecting on the world of knowledge gained about the inner workings of local government. The one-of-a-kind civic education course provides a select group of high school juniors and seniors with a first-hand look at how our municipal government works with monthly field trips and hands-on activities. 

teenage boy using surveying equipment

On Community Services Day, Weston U students interacted with representatives from the City’s Parks & Recreation, Landscaping, and Public Works departments. The day began with an exercise to design your own dream park. Students’ imaginations ran wild with prospective parks featuring everything from ballparks and beaches to a Chick-fil-A restaurant. 

The class then got a chance to tour Peace Mound Park, viewing the Weston History Walk and testing out some of the playground equipment, before visiting one of Weston’s pumping stations and mitigation areas. Other activities included learning proper tree trimming techniques and stormwater and sewer maintenance. 

teenager on playground

Development Services Day featured a visit to the offices of Calvin, Giordano and Associations (CGA), Weston’s contract provider for planning, zoning and engineering services. Working alongside CGA employees, students reviewed engineering maps, examined different sod samples, and utilized survey equipment. This insightful experience allowed students to explore career opportunities outside of traditional city government roles. 

Last month, the Weston University program focused on law enforcement services with a field trip to the Broward Sheriff’s Office facility and gun range at Markham Park. This month, the curriculum focuses on finance and technology services. Students will learn how local taxes are figured, explore sources of City revenue, and examine the Weston budget. They will also discover how the City uses technology to function and connect with residents.

boy showing park diagram on easel

The seven-month program concludes in April with a City Commission simulation, with students using their knowledge of local government to carry out mock commission meeting using actual agenda items. A one-day field trip to Washington, D.C., is also planned to provide students with an understanding of the relationship between local and federal government. 

Photos courtesy of Weston