Don’t just give them an apple, give them an award: Nominate a teacher today

October 20th, 2014 by Kristin

Last year's award winners

School is in session which means it is time for the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s annual awards program! Every year the Trust, a non-profit grantmaking organization dedicated to environmental education and restoration work, recognizes two students and one teacher from Maryland who have shown a strong commitment to their local environment and the Chesapeake Bay. The winning students are honored with a $5,000 college scholarship and the winning teacher will be given a $2,500 grant award to support environmental education through the Trust. The winners will be formally announced at the Trust’s Legislative Reception at the Maryland State House in January 2015. Applicants can be self-nominated or nominated by individuals who are not family members and the deadline to apply is December 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Read a full description of the awards below and to nominate, visit the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s webpage.

2015 Teacher of the Year Award:

This award is given to a Maryland educator who has shown outstanding commitment to environmental education. Applicants for this award can be self-nominated or nominated by individuals who are not family members. The winner will receive a $2,500 mini grant for environmental education and restoration from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. (Please note that the $2,500 grant award can only be applied to one application and not spread throughout the year.) To nominate a teacher in Maryland for this award, click here.

2015 Student of the Year Scholarship:

The Student of the Year award is given to a Maryland high school or college student who has shown an outstanding commitment to environmental stewardship, Chesapeake Bay restoration and community involvement. Applicants for this award can be self-nominated or nominated by anyone except family members. The winner will receive a $5,000 college scholarship. To nominate a student in Maryland for this award, click here.

2015 Honorable Arthur Dorman Scholarship:

This award recognizes a Maryland high school or college student who demonstrates a commitment to improving the health of the environment and the Chesapeake Bay and who, as a student of color, exhibits exemplary leadership in promoting diversity and inclusion in his/her school and broader community. Applicants for this award can be self-nominated or nominated by anyone except family members. The winner will receive a $5,000 college scholarship. To nominate a student in Maryland for this award, click here.

With questions, contact Kristin Foringer, 410-974-2941, ext. 113

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is a nonprofit grant-making organization dedicated to improving the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams through environmental education, community outreach, and local watershed restoration. Since its inception in 1985, the Trust has awarded over $65 million in grants and engaged hundreds of thousands of citizen stewards in projects that have a measurable impact on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Trust is supported by the sale of the Maryland Treasure the Chesapeake license plate, donations to the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund on the Maryland State income tax form, donations from individuals and corporations, and partnerships with private foundations and federal and state agencies.

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Kristin Foringer is the Communications and Development Associate at the Chesapeake Bay Trust. She can be reached at 410-974-2941, ext. 113 or at kforinger@cbtrust.org. Kristin is also a former Environmental Management Staffer at the Chesapeake Bay Program.

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.

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.

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.

Keep Maryland Beautiful Awards

March 17th, 2014 by Julie Walker

Students from the Greenmount School harvesting sunflower seeds to use for birdseed. The plants grew in garden beds funded by Keep Maryland Beautiful. Image from MD DNR web blog

The Keep Maryland Beautiful Program was established in 1967 as the first program administered by the Maryland Environmental Trust. Keep Maryland Beautiful Program is partially funded by the Maryland State Highway Administration and provides grants to non-profit organizations and schools to support environmental education and demonstration projects that enhance and maintain the environment.

Maryland Environmental Trust accepts applications annually for the following two categories: the Margaret Rosch Jones Awards and the Bill James Environmental Grants.

The Margaret Rosch Jones Award of up to $2,000.00 is awarded to non-profit groups or communities for an ongoing project or activity that has demonstrated success in solving an environmental issue, whether local or statewide. This award recognizes those organizations that have been actively educating people in their community about litter prevention, community beautification, or eliminating or reducing the causes of a local environmental problem.

The Bill James Environmental Grant of up to $1,000.00 is awarded to school groups, science and ecology clubs, and other nonprofit youth groups for proposed environmental education projects.

The objectives of the grants are to:

• Encourage a sense of stewardship and personal responsibility for the environment

• Stimulate a better understanding of environmental issues

• Aid in the elimination or reduction of a local environmental problem

• Encourage education about growth management protection of rural areas and sensitive resources while

discouraging sprawl development

For more information  of applying check out Maryland DNR website. Completed applications must be received by March 31, 2014.

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

Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

January 20th, 2014 by Julie Walker

Past winners include Carolyn Ruos Thomas, a teacher at Wildwood Middle School in West Virginia, who "accidentally fell in love with brook trout" and ended up engaging her students in a Trout in the Classroom Program.

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to nationally honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms & teaching methods.

Teacher awardees will receive a commemorative plaque and an award of $2,000 to be used to further the recipient’s professional development in environmental education.  But that is not all – the teacher’s local education agency will also receive an award of $2,000 to fund environmental educational activities and programs of the teacher.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators, teachers must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Teach K-12 on a full-time basis in a public school that is operated by a local education agency1, including schools funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Hold a current teaching license from the state (or valid reciprocity from the state for a license from another state)
  • Have a minimum of 5 years of K-12 teaching experience, including at least 3 years of teaching environmental education and/or an environment-based curriculum
  • Anticipate a classroom teaching assignment involving environmental education for the upcoming school year
  • Be a citizen of the United States, its territories or possessions, or lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residency
  • Has not been a recipient of this award in the past 5 years

The deadline for submitting applications for the 2014 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators is February 28, 2014.

For complete details about this opportunity, please refer to the 2014 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators announcement.  You can also review the Application Requirements and Form and Frequently Asked Questions.

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

Apply Now for NOAA’s Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Grant!

December 23rd, 2013 by Kevin

Students participating in Hartwick College's (NY) B-WET supported program collect and identify stream macroinvertebrates

K-12 programs that provide students with meaningful watershed educational experiences (MWEE) related to the Chesapeake Bay watershed and related teacher professional development, this one’s for you:  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is now accepting applications for FY14 B-WET (Bay Watershed Education and Training) funding to support your program.

Proposals for FY14 funding must:

Be a systemic MWEE program that strives to reach the entire student and teacher population in one or more grades in an entire school system or recognized sub-unit of a school system;

OR

Incorporate Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences into K-12 Geographic Education.

If you’re interested, be sure to read the full NOAA Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity for details and requirements. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Eastern Time, January 29, 2014.

Contact B-WET Chesapeake Manager Kevin Schabow with any questions.

Kevin Schabow is an Education Specialist at NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office.

Where to Start Your Path to a ‘Green School’

November 18th, 2013 by Kristin

Holy Trinity students stenciling storm drains. Image via Chesapeake Bay Trust.

Want to get your students engaged in their outdoor environment but aren’t sure how? Ever wanted to do a tree planting or create an outdoor classroom at your school but don’t know where to start? Consider applying for a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust!

The Chesapeake Bay Trust is the only non-profit grantmaking organization dedicated to environmental education and restoration in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. What does that mean? Essentially, we take the donations we receive and put them toward funding for projects related to restoration, community engagement, urban greening and environmental education. Last year, the Trust funded grants that engaged 59,547 students and 4,643 teachers and granted $505,693 for environmental field trips.

We have two grant programs that are designed specifically to help teachers find the funding they need to allow their students to have meaningful watershed experiences in the Chesapeake Bay, and now to help fulfill the new Environmental Literacy requirement. Our grant managers will even work with you to come up with a grant that fits your goals and curriculum.

Our Mini grants are the most popular for teachers to apply for, and grants have ranged from $100 to $5,000. Most of this funding is applied to individual class field trips or schoolyard habitat installations, and have included activities like native plantings and stormwater stenciling. The current round of mini grant applications are due January 10, 2014 by 5:00 pm.

We also have an Environmental Education grant which has three areas of focus. Environmental literacy, meaningful watershed experiences, and green schools are all funded by our education grants, and tend to be larger and are applied to whole schools or counties. Applications for these grants are due December 6, 2013 by 5:00 pm.

How are we able to do all of this? With help from people like you. We receive donations from the purchase of the Treasure the Chesapeake license plate, from the Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species or “Line 35” on the Maryland state income tax form, partnerships with businesses and corporations, and from individual donors. We are proud to say that 90 cents of every dollar we receive go back into restoration and education for the Chesapeake Bay.

Contact one of our grant managers today to learn how you can bring environmental education to your school.

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Kristin Foringer is the Communications and Development Associate at the Chesapeake Bay Trust. She can be reached at 410-974-2941, ext. 113 or at kforinger@cbtrust.org. Kristin is also a former Environmental Management Staffer at the Chesapeake Bay Program.

Engage Your Students in STEM and Win Technology for Your School

October 21st, 2013 by Sarah Kozicki

Enter Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest today!

Increasing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) knowledge and expanding STEM education and career opportunities for students is a national priority. Student achievement in STEM is key to fostering a new wave of innovators who can creatively address complex 21st century challenges.

Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest is an excellent opportunity to engage students in STEM while applying to win a share of $2,000,000 in technology and prizes for your school.  Samsung is asking teachers to answer the challenge:  “Show how STEM can be applied to help your local community.” Up to 255 applicants will be chosen to create their vision for this program, and then 51 teachers will be chosen to have their classes create videos addressing the challenge. Fifteen schools will win technology packages estimated at $35,000 and be invited to pitch their ideas to an expert panel of judges. Five of those schools will win prize packages estimated at $140,000 for their school and be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C.

Additionally, each applicant will be eligible for the Environmental Innovation Sustainability Award, in which schools can win an additional $50,000 in Samsung technology by applying STEM to an environmental challenge in their community.

The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas. Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest is an opportunity for students to make a difference in their community by using technology to apply STEM to a real environmental challenge.

Learn more and apply for Samsung’s Solve for Tomorrow Contest at: http://www.samsung.com/us/solvefortomorrow/home.html.

Application period ends October 31.

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Sarah Kozicki is an Education Program Coordinator for National Environmental Education Week.

Funding Fun: Fall 2013 Environmental Education Grants

August 12th, 2013 by Sarah

School gardens are just one example of the cool environmental education projects these grants could help support! Image via Captain Planet Foundation.

It’s that time of the year again: the summer is wrapping up and educators, parents, and students alike are all getting ready for the coming school year.  With lesson plans to create, classrooms to set-up, and new students to prepare for, this is a very busy time of year for educators.  As you get ready to go back to school this fall, be sure to keep grant opportunities in mind.  To save you some time and to help support your Chesapeake Bay watershed field studies, environmental education projects or school greening activities, we have assembled a list of grants with application deadlines in September and early October. Check them out below, and good luck with your applications!

Captain Planet Foundation Grants

These grants are intended serve as a catalyst to getting environment-based education in schools and inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. Funding will be awarded to non-profits, schools, and community-based environmental and educational organizations, and preferential consideration is given to requests seeking funding of $500 or less and to applicants who have secured at least 50% matching or in-kind funding for their projects. On occasion, grants of up to $2,500 may be awarded.  Application Deadline: September 30, 2013.

Green Thumb Challenge

The Green Education Foundation and Gardener’s Supply Company have teamed up on an exciting funding opportunity for established youth garden projects nationwide! The organizations are calling on schools and youth groups to submit chronicles of their garden projects in a race to win a $1,000 prize. The award is designed to support the continued sustainability of an exceptional youth garden program that has demonstrated success, and has impacted the lives of kids and their community. Application Deadline: September 30, 2013

Kids In Need Teacher Grants

Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. The Kids In Need Foundation helps to engage students in the learning process by supporting our most creative and important educational resource — our nation’s teachers.  Teacher Grant awards range from $100 to $500 each and are used to finance creative classroom projects. Application Deadline: September 30, 2013.

Target Field Trip Grants

Learning opportunities extend far beyond the classroom. But schools are finding it more and more difficult to bring students to museums, historical sites and cultural organizations. Field Trip Grants help give children these unique, firsthand learning experiences. As part of the program, each Target store will award three Target Field Trip Grants to K—12 schools nationwide—enabling one in 25 schools throughout the U.S. to send a classroom on a field trip. Each grant is valued up to $700. Application Deadline: September 30, 2013.

Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fund Advisory Committee Grants (Virginia Only)

The Chesapeake Bay Restoration Advisory Committee accepts grant applications to conduct Chesapeake Bay-related education and restoration activities.  Projects focusing on environmental education should increase public awareness and knowledge about the Bay, and projects of a restoration and conservation nature should be action oriented. This year $254,000 in grant monies, funded from the sale of the special Chesapeake Bay license plate, Friend of the Chesapeake, will be awarded in May-June 2014 to eligible applicants. Applications will be accepted from private non-profit conservation organizations, schools and universities, and governmental agencies whose projects will affect water bodies that are located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Application Deadline: October 1, 2013

Toshiba Grants for Grades K-5

Do you teach in an elementary school classroom? Do you have an idea for improving math or science instruction in your classroom?  K-5 grade teachers are invited to use Toshiba America Foundation’s short application form to describe a set of lessons or a hands-on project they would like to introduce in their own classrooms. Any K-5 teacher in a public or private (not-for-profit) school is eligible for a grant to support science or math education up to $1,000 for project materials only.  Application Deadline: October 1st, each year.

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Sarah Brzezinski a Chesapeake Conservancy Intern and serves as the manager of Bay Backpack. She is a former Chesapeake Research Consortium/Chesapeake Bay Program Fostering Stewardship Staffer.
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