Now Accepting Applications for the Chesapeake Bay Trust Environmental Education Grant Program

August 26th, 2014 by Julie Walker

Apply today for a Environmental Education Grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a non-profit grantmaking organization that gives funding to students, teachers and communities to help improve their environment and the Chesapeake Bay. The Trust seeks to increase environmental stewardship through environmental education by providing grants that build and expand pre-K through 12 environmental education programs and increase student access to programs that provide meaningful outdoor learning experiences. These projects can range from outdoor field experiences with students, to rain garden planting, to the installation of living shorelines.

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is now accepting applications for the Environmental Education Grant Program. Grant applicatants can apply for one of two tracks ….

Environmental Literacy Program Development Track:  Applicants may request from $5,001 to $50,000 per year for up to three years (Maximum $150,000 total award). The purpose of Environmental Literacy Program Development proposals is to support the development, pilot, and scale up of comprehensive, systemic, and sustainable environmental literacy programs within local school systems that can serve as model programs.  Applicants to this track should be local school systems or nonprofit organizations working in partnership with local school systems.
Environmental Literacy Program Implementation Track:  Applicants may request $5,001 – $30,000 for one year.   The purpose of Environmental Literacy Program Implementation proposals is to support the expansion and delivery of comprehensive programs to provide Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs) for students as a component of a school system Environmental Literacy Program.  Successful proposals can include some program development activities with emphasis on the delivery of teacher supported meaningful outdoor learning experiences for students.  These experiences should meet the criteria outlined below which mirror guidance including in the new draft definition Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences.  They should be investigative and project oriented, provide both structured and unstructured outdoor learning experiences, be integrated with classroom instruction, and be part of a sustained program or activity for participating students.  Programs should be contributing to the implementation of environmental literacy programs in local schools and/or school systems and letters of support are strongly encouraged.  Requests for professional development to support MWEE’s and environmental literacy programs are welcome and encouraged.

Please contact Jamie Baxter, jbaxter@cbtrust.org, to discuss which track is more appropriate for your proposal idea. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Trust staff to discuss proposals prior to the deadline. Click here for additional details and to download the RFP.  Grants support programs serving Maryland students, teachers and schools. Deadline to apply is December 15th 2014.

Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands

August 18th, 2014 by Julie Walker

A new Classroom Study Guide is now available to accompany the PBS documentary, Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands. Return Flight aired nationally in 2013 and 2014 on the PBS series Natural Heroes. This documentary shows the plight of Bald Eagles in Southern California from hunting to persecution to DDT contamination. The film documents the inspiring recovery of the Bald Eagle by showing how biologists, government agencies, and the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program (MSRP) have worked together to bring this ancestral bird back to the Channel Islands.
The free Return Flight Classroom Study Guide was developed for middle school, high school, and community college teachers allowing them to delve deeper into the topics introduced in this educational film. The study guide features seven lesson plans that emphasize the relevant concepts of the film and the pressing environmental issues of today’s society. All of the lesson plans begin with several discussion topics followed by a hands-on activity or call to action for students. Each lesson plan is also aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards allowing for their integration into everyday classroom curriculum.
The guide was developed in partnership with MSRP and Filmmakers Collaborative SF. Learn more about the film and download a free copy of the guide now!

Filed under: News,Teaching Resources
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Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

National Science Teachers Association- New Science Teacher Academy

August 5th, 2014 by Julie Walker
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) New Science Teacher Academy is a yearlong program focused on encouraging and supporting early-career science educators. Two leading U.S.-based organizations committed to strengthening the quality of science education in the U.S.—Lockheed Martin and the Bayer USA Foundation—are supporting the new science teachers selected as fellows for the 2014–2015 NSTA New Science Teacher Academy.
Selected fellows will participate in a host of science-related activities and professional learning opportunities, including:
  • A yearlong, discipline-specific mentor
  • Access to facilitated, web-based curriculum devoted to content and classroom pedagogy
  • Membership with full benefits in NSTA
  • Opportunity to participate in a variety of web-based professional learning activities, including web seminars
  • Attendance to the 2015 National Conference on Science Education in Chicago, including paid expenses for air travel, lodging, meals, and registration
  • Attendance at a Professional Development Institute
Fellows will be selected on the basis of several criteria, including showing evidence of a solid science background and displaying a strong interest in growing as a professional science educator. According to a 2003 study by Richard Ingersoll, nearly 50% of beginning teachers leave their jobs in the first five years. The NSTA New Science Teacher Academy endeavors to use mentoring and other professional development resources to support science teachers during the often challenging, initial teaching years and to help them stay in the profession. Since its inception in 2007 the NSTA New Science Teacher Academy has provided high-quality professional learning opportunities to nearly 1000 science teachers nationwide.

Apply Now!

Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Honor Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees

July 21st, 2014 by Julie Walker

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Mike Boots, and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce Mark Schaefer will honor the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 22, at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. At the awards ceremony, Secretary Duncan will also announce the legs of the second annual Green Strides Best Practices Tour.The awardees are recognized for reducing their environmental impact, creating healthy learning environments and fostering wellness practices and providing effective environmental education that prepares students to succeed in the 21st century, including science, technology, mathematics, engineering and civics. Check out a full list of elected schools and districts, as well as their nomination packages here!

This event will be livestreamed at 2 p.m. ET: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/education-department

Get more information about the  Green School pillars and program here, and check out these other resources from the U.S. Department of Education.

Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

Ocean Guardian schools come to Charles County, MD

July 9th, 2014 by Julie Walker

Ocean Guardian is a very successful and extremely popular California-based program that in recent months has expanded to one school in NY and now two in Charles County, Maryland!

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has just awarded grant funds to Piccowaxen MS and North Point HS to participate in the Ocean Guardian program. An Ocean Guardian school makes a commitment to the protection and conservation of its local watershed, the world’s ocean, and special ocean areas, like National Marine Sanctuaries. The school makes this commitment by proposing and then implementing a school- or community-based conservation projects. Beginning in September, both schools will be conducting hands-on conservation and awareness programs on schoolgrounds, in local watersheds and in community venues.

The Ocean Guardian School program funds these projects focused on a current issue(s) affecting local watersheds and/or the ocean while promoting best environmental practices. Through these school- or community-based project, Ocean Guardian schools work to make a difference in the health and protection of their local watersheds, ocean, and special areas. While  providing learning programs and opportunities that reflect environmentally sustainable practices that enable all students to be environmentally active and committed “Ocean Guardians.”

Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

Teachers on the Estuary, The Wonders of Wetlands and Project WET

June 30th, 2014 by Julie Walker

The 2012 TOTE Teachers & NBNERR staff

Join the Narragansett Bay Research Reserve this summer on beautiful Prudence Island, for a full weekend of hands-on learning. Topics will include estuaries, climate change and water resources. Participants will engage in three different workshops: Teachers on the Estuary (TOTE), The Wonders of Wetlands (WOW!) and Project WET. An abundance of resources will be provided as part of this multi-faceted workshop to help you bring your knowledge back to your classroom or education center.

Participants will arrive late Friday afternoon and stay until Sunday afternoon, for a total of 15 PDP’s. Lodging is available at the Reserve in a modest cottage with dorm-style bedrooms. Meals and lodging cost are covered but participants will be responsible for the cost of their ferry ticket ($8) and parking, if necessary ($10/day).
The majority of the activities will be hands-on or in the field, as the weather allows.We will also spend time reviewing online resources from the NERRS and NOAA as well, including water quality graphing applications and the Estuaries 101 online curriculum for middle and high school.
When: August 8-10, 2014 (late Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon)
Who Should Register: Many of the activities are geared towards middle and high school teachers, but pre-service and informal educators are welcome to attend.
Co-Hosted By: Narragansett Bay Research Reserve and the RI Department of Environmental Management, Fish & Wildlife Division.
Please contact Maureen Dewire, Education Coordinator for the Research Reserve, with any questions or to register for this workshop. Email: maureen@nbnerr.org; Phone: 401.683.1478
Filed under: Training
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Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

Explore, Learn, Participate in a Marine Education Fellowship!

June 26th, 2014 by Julie Walker

The Marine Education Fellowship is a program sponsered by Ecology Project International  that brings a select group of educators into the field every year for 8 days of field-science education.

The goals of EPI’s Marine Education Fellowship are 5-fold:

  • Develop familiarity with EPI’s approach to field research and education
  • Revitalize and celebrate dedication to science education
  • Provide unique experiences and activities to take back to the classroom
  • Build a supportive network of educators working towards similar goals
  • Introduce  EPI’s work and promote future student courses to our program sites

The fellowship runs two programs one to Baja Island where participants assist  in cataloging and studying species in the Sea of Cortez in order to understand marine diversity and how to protect it. The Costa Rica Sea Turtle Ecology Program puts participants in contact with marine researchers and leatherback sea turtles in order to study population trends and protect turtle nests from tides, illegal harvesting, and other threats.

Ideal fellowship candidates have a strong background in science education and will be committed to providing experiential learning opportunities for their students. This program is primarily designed for high school teachers. However, 8th grade teachers, college professors, school administrators, and travel program coordinators are welcome to apply.Accepted Fellows pay a $250 tuition fee by Oct. 31, 2014 to secure their participation. All in-country expenses for the fellowship are covered by EPI except international airfare. In-country transportation, meals, lodging, instruction and activity fees are included at no extra cost.

The application period for EPI’s 2015 Marine Education Fellowship is June 24th – September 15th, 2014. Final candidates will be selected in October.

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Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

Meet one of Maryland’s Newest Green Schools: Leonardtown High School

June 17th, 2014 by Kimberle Egbert

Dr. Martirano Superintendent of St. Mary's County Public Schools Presents a Green School Banner to the LHS Green School team

Leonardtown High School (LHS) prides itself on being college and career oriented and being focused on helping all of our students succeed and we are very excited about our growing environmental commitment. This commitment ties into all aspects of our school from how it is cleaned to what and how students are being taught.  We recognize that environmental literacy and practice cannot be separate from a successful school.  While the journey has not been easy and is far from over, the culture at LHS has evolved in many significant ways regarding our Green School undertaking.

The LHS community has become increasingly proactive in our efforts to become and act in an environmentally conscious manner.  In the past, there were individual students and faculty who chose to recycle, reduce waste, and conserve energy in their classrooms.  Now, our entire student body, faculty, and staff are aware, encouraged, and provided the opportunities and means to put best practices into action.  Each classroom has a recycling bin that is collected multiple times a week by the SAIL Program students. More recycling containers than trashcans have been placed in the cafeteria where students eat off of reusable trays.  Environmental literacy messages are shared weekly if not daily on our student led televised announcements.  Due to these and many other activities, our recycling has doubled over the past two years.
The Green School Coordinator and Green School team, in cooperation with administration have developed a very productive working relationship with our Building Service Worker Team not only in waste reduction and green cleaning, but also in reaching milestones in energy consumption.  Energy Consumption has been reduced by over 15% in the past few years due to a concerted effort to examine our consumption and  to make improvements.  LHS students are also encouraged to share their environmental knowledge and commitment with the rest of the school.  This has led to endeavors such as a student created information plate for each light switch reminding everyone to turn off the lights when not in use.
These achievements are only possible because the entire school community has united in the effort to become a Green School.  LHS’s commitment to Green School certification is about making our school a more healthy, economical, environmentally friendly location where environmental literacy is part of the curriculum and general atmosphere.  Wherever you go in LHS, we want it show that we are green.  As is shown in our documentation, all aspects of our school from instruction to professional development to the practices used for cleaning and heating take into account best management practices.  The value of being a Green School is important to the LHS community.
Filed under: School Spotlight
Kimberle Egbert is an Environmental Science Teacher at Leonardtown High School as well as the Green School Coordinator, and Envirothon Advisor

Sign up Today for Data & the Estuary:Eastern Shore

June 9th, 2014 by Julie Walker

Sign up for Data & the Estuary: Eastern Shore Today!

Get ready to collect and use estuary-specific data in YOUR Classroom –
Acquire resources, new lessons, techniques to develop environmentally literate students and get OUTSIDE!

Join the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve  August 4-8 for  Data & the Estuary:Eastern Shore
a specialized course  for Maryland middle and high school teachers. This 5 day/4 night course, held at the Karen Noonan Center in Bishops Head, MD, is a partnership with NOAA, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. 3 optional graduate credits available.

This course provide teachers with the resources, knowledge and experience necessary to facilitate the integration of estuaries and related topics into the classroom. Through hands-on, field-based investigations teachers will have the opportunity to gather authentic data on climate science, water quality, biotic communities, analyze collected and existing data, and ultimately use this information to develop action projects that will have a positive impact on the natural systems of the Chesapeake Bay.  The course is geared toward a middle and high school audience, but all are welcome.

The Courses are Tuition-free.  However, there is a $50 NON-REFUNDABLE Registration and Materials Fee required to secure participant registration.

Data & the Estuary will help teachers increase their ability to:

  • Utilize Estuaries 101, National Geographic FieldScope, and associated curricula
  • Access tools and curricula that support STEM programming
  • Design and implement authentic student-driven investigations
  • Analyze collected information
  • Develop action projects to manage and address the results of investigations
  • Connect Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core to experiential learning and the use of data
  • Understand multiple literacy initiatives – Ocean Literacy, Estuarine Literacy, Climate Literacy, and Environmental Literacy

Register HERE

For questions about this course, please contact

Coreen Weilminster

cweilminster@dnr.state.md.us

CBNERR-MD’s Education Coordinator

Filed under: Training
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Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.

President Celebrates STEM at the 3rd White House Science Fair

June 2nd, 2014 by Julie Walker

President Obama celebrated students achievements in STEM by hosting the third annual White House Science Fair on May 27 2014. 30 states were represented in the group of 100 hundred students. From designing new apps, to solar panels, to making football helmets more concussion proof projects encompassing a wide range of STEM fields. This year the fair had a special focus on encouraging girls to pursue a career in science.  As a part of this initiative to diversify the STEM workforce he also announced a $35 million Education Department competition for teacher training programs as well as mentoring efforts.  He also singled out national science and math mentoring projects in Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco; Allentown, Pennsylvania; Indianapolis; the Research Triangle Park in North Carolina; and Wichita, Kansas as towns that will pilot new mentoring projects, and the development of new Americorps programming to offer science and technology classes for 18,000 low-income students.

One particular project from the Chesapeake Bay region was a team of five budding engineers from Baltimore,  Ekeagwu Onyekachi, 20; Jevaughn Taylor, 19; Iragena Serge Bangamwabo, 20; Abhishek Yonghang-Subba, 18; and De’onte Green, 19 , whose project was on developing a solar powered hover craft made from environmentally friendly materials. The team has already received recognition at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Baltimore STEM business Plan Competition, where they received first place.

Delaware residents Aaron Knestaut, 13, Eric Long, 14, and Max Huhn, 13, also presented an environmentally focused project at the White House. As members of the “Zero Waste” team, they are concerned at the rate at which DE landfills are filling up. Their research suggests that half of the waste ending up in landfills could be used as compost. The team suggests that implementing curbside organic composting collection in DE will extend the life of DE’s landfills significantly. The Zero waste team has received a $25,000 grant from the Columbus Foundation Community for their innovative waste project.

Julie Walker is the Chesapeake Research Consortium / Chesapeake Bay Program's Fostering Chesapeake Stewardship Staffer.
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