While many area students have geared up into summer vacation mode, a group of eight high school students from Coatesville is continuing its education in a meandering, creative way.

The Stroud Water Research Center is hosting them for a Brandywine Trek, a weeklong educational adventure focusing on the waterway. Students will camp, fish, canoe, hike and learn about the importance of our natural resouces. The group began its expedition on Monday at the Brandywine headwaters in Honey Brook. The journey will conclude at the mouth of the Brandywine in Wilmington.

Along the way, students will tour a wastewater treatment plant, learn about the significance of Lukens Steel, collect scientfitic water-quality data and document their findings. "Our goal," said Christina Medved, the Stroud Center's education programs manager, " is to empower these students with knowledge and understanding of how all these communities are connected by this one waterway."

The students' journal entries and photographs will be recorded at www.stroudcenter.org/trek2011 and presented in a public exhibition this fall.

The program was modeled after "Mountaintop to Tap," a similar odyssey the center created in 2007. It traced New York City's drinking water from its origins in the Catskill Mountains to the reservoir in Central Park, a journey chronicled by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Kent Garrett.