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;
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.
This interactive textbook allows students to explore the early days of the Jamestown settlement via an App.
When you think about teaching K-12 students about the Chesapeake Bay your mind probably jumps straight to science, but hold your horses: this watershed has a rich heritage and history! Indigenous cultures, colonial settlement, wars that shaped the nation – these are just some of the topics that come to mind related to the history of our region. History is a great topic for teaching students about the changing landscape and environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, and now it is a great way to get your students using technology in – and out – of the classroom.
Do you want to teach your students about the history of the Chesapeake Region? The Early Jamestown App is a great place to start! This App is an interactive textbook exploration of the early days of the Jamestown settlement and the state of Virginia. Students will enjoy the rich interactive graphics and the engrossing story of a key moment in the history of the United States. Embedded videos chronicle the beginnings of the Jamestown Settlement, interactive timelines document the development of the first permanent English colony in North America, zoomable maps link history to the geography of the Chesapeake, and clickable key words will help students learn definitions and pronunciations of vocabulary. Embedded assessments also allow teachers to check student understanding of concepts. This interactive version of Our Virginia was developed by Victory Productions and is part of the Virginia Department of Education’s Beyond Textbooks initiative to explore and test technical, social, and policy implications of textbook alternatives.
The Civil War Trust’s Battle Apps will help your students unlock all the rich history that our Civil War battlefields have to offer. “Virtual Signs” provide access to accounts, audio links, and videos from true battlefield experts and leading historians. These apps for the battles of Gettysburg, Antietam, Bull Run and more are great for field trips because the include detailed, GPS-enabled battle maps that will show users their location on the battlefield, and many also include various time-phased maps that will allow users to see where Union and Confederate units were located on the battlefield at various key moments. Students will love the “Field Glasses” augmented reality viewer, which uses a smart phone’s camera to analyze your location, find key battlefield landmarks, and superimpose them on the modern landscape with links to more information. Here is a great article about how one school used the Battle App in the classroom and beyond: A Field Trip with Battle Apps: Students From West Springfield High School Take Gettysburg Battle App to the Battlefield
DocsTeach.org is an online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. On the web site, you will discover thousands of primary sources and learning activities. When registered for a free account, teachers can borrow from and modify an ever-expanding collection of activities, plus create unique ones using the online tools. Log in and create classrooms full of activities, then share the classroom’s auto generated code with your students to access on their iPads. This is a great app to engage your students in activities that will help them make sense of stories, events, and ideas of the past using documents from the holdings of the US National Archives.
Alright, this one is not an App, but it is worth mentioning: Hold the Fort is an online game that puts players in charge of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore, responsible for the defense of the fort and the city. As commander, players lead the troops, manage resources, and keep the fort from falling under the withering British bombardment. The game, produced in partnership with the National Park Service, begins by providing historical context for the Battle of Baltimore and includes educational information throughout. Teacher Resources are also provided.
Do you want to learn more about climate science, investigate innovative teaching methods and become part of a vibrant learning community?
If this sound like you, well then you should consider becoming a NOAA Climate Steward!
NOAA’s Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP) provides formal and informal educators working with elementary through university age students with sustained professional development, collaborative tools,and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship.
Mini-grant funding to develop and implement a climate stewardship action plan
Travel stipends to attend and present at key professional development conferences.
Special CSEP contests with monetary and educational resource prizes.
The Fine Print… If you decide to join this effort, you will be committing to:
Complete and reflect on at least 15 hours of professional development (PD) training in climate science and education in 2014.
Complete and reflect on at least 9 hours of PD training in climate science and education for each additional year you remain with the Project.
Fully participate in monthly CSEP national and regional events during evening hours. National level events occur on the first and last Monday evenings of every month.
Develop and Implement a climate stewardship project in your school, community, or organization, focused on mitigating the effects of climate change.
Use the CSEP Wiki to post PD reflections, classroom activities in climate change, stewardship project plans, progress updates, as well as share resources, comments and results with other CSEP educators.
Fully participate in CSEP evaluation efforts
Applicants will only be accepted until Friday, December 13, 2013.
Individuals selected to participate in CSEP will be notified by the last week of December 2013.
The sixth grade poses with Ms. Elizabeth after cleaning up spent vines and harvesting the last of the tomatoes and watermelon.
The garden beds in July.
Eighth graders harvest 30 lbs. of sweet potatoes with a parent volunteer.
As an urban K-8 independent school, our students come to us with varying degrees of experience with gardening and the outdoors. GreenMount parents want to raise their children in the culturally rich and diverse atmosphere that the city offers, and they also want their children to understand our relationship with the environment, our stewardship of the planet and the unique role humans play in the balance of nature. To that end, one of our keystone programs is Explorations, an environmental science curriculum that is born from the belief that kids should go outside, get dirty, and be awed by the natural world.
Seventh grade students harvest sunflower seeds. The seeds are dried and used in our bird feeders over the winter.
Since the school was started in 1993 we have been gardening. First, in a borrowed backyard plot, then after moving to a larger building, in raised beds in our own yard. With additional funding from The Maryland Environmental Trust and from Parks and People Foundation we expanded our gardens from five to nine beds. Now every child at the school spends time in the garden, planting, tending, weeding and harvesting. The garden offers teaching opportunities in many areas of study: botany, economics, community service, hydrology, nutrition and geology. There are also opportunities to explore cultural studies by planting crops commonly eaten in other countries.
We focused our attention on growing food that would be most appreciated by the guests at Paul’s Place, a community support center in Washington Village/Pigtown. The center is located in a food dessert, and fresh foods are particularly difficult for area residents to obtain. All of the produce was donated to Paul’s Place…about 18 bags in the course of the summer. The center is near and dear to our heart since our 8th graders volunteer there three times a year, helping to prepare and serve meals and assisting guests as they choose new clothes.
We love to see the reactions and problem solving from the students to all aspects of gardening. From the child who wanted to talk to the plants each week to encourage them to grow, to the child who came to appreciate the beneficial insects, to the cheers from the group who harvested the impressive sweet potatoes, each child has a story and relationship with the garden. As nature is unpredictable and interesting, so are the experiences through the garden. When the broccoli was attacked by mysterious striped beetles, all students were involved in identifying the predators and determining an organic solution. The presence of the beetles also affected the students’ decision to plant other members of the cabbage family, knowing that this beetle was in our midst. Those are the really exciting teaching moments, the ones that are generated from the students’ own curiosity and experience.
Congressman John Sarbanes, pictured here speaking about the MUDDY FEET program at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, will give the keynote address at the 2013 Summit.
In Annapolis, Maryland, the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Environmental Literacy Summit (December 2-3, 2013) is bringing together environmental education experts, representatives from federal and state governments, and decision makers from around the watershed to discuss how federal, state, and local partners can be more effective and efficient at developing and implementing environmental literacy programs.
Since 1983, the Chesapeake Bay Programpartnership has coordinated and conducted the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, and in 1998 it launched a federal-state partnership in support of environmental education, recognizing that:
“The future well-being of North America’s largest and most productive estuary, the Chesapeake Bay, its thousands of tributaries, and its 64,000 square miles of watershed will soon rest in the hands of its youngest citizens. These citizens, three million strong in kindergarten through 12th grade, are tomorrow’s leaders. They also will be the stewards of the Bay’s precious resources including its fish, crabs and oysters, forests and wetlands.” – Directive 98-1 of the Chesapeake Bay Program
This statement remains as true today as the day it was written, and the regional commitment to advancing environmental literacy efforts throughout the watershed remains strong as the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Education Workgroup, the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office and Chesapeake Bay Trust convene the 5th biennial Environmental Literacy Summit.
This year, summit participants will explore how environmental literacy can be achieved using existing and emerging standards and practices and will work together to better connect and align federal programs and grantees with efforts at the state level. On the second day of the Summit, a smaller group will participate in working sessions designed to review the new education best practices and metrics under development for the Chesapeake Bay Program and to discuss specific strategies for advancing environmental education at the state and regional level.
Child geocaching along the Captain John Smith National Historic Trail. Image via Chesapeakae Bay Program.
Bring technology into your classroom as you get your students outside of it! Whether you are looking to find a field trip location or to integrate Apps into an outdoor Chesapeake experience, these are some great resources for you:
Have your students join the search for geocaches and the growing community of urban explorers and outdoor adventurers! What is geocaching? It is basically an outdoor scavenger hunt using GPS units and coordinates (or a cellular devise with an App) instead of clues.Importantly, geocaching is a cross-curricular activity that can be tailored for all ages and learning styles.It is the perfect way to get your students outside and interested in technology!If you want to take your students on a field trip that uses geocaching, check out these articles about teaching along the Captain John Smith Geotrail or the Star Spangled Banner Geotrail, both of which are associated with the National Park Service trails.Want an example of how to use geocaching to get students outside on your own school grounds? Learn about Geocaching at Southern Guilford High School and get some helpful tips on how to do it yourself!
With more than 50 national parks in the Chesapeake and thousands of miles of trails and public landscape to explore, educators can find countless field trip opportunities – and this is the App to find them with! In October 2012, the National Park Service launched “Chesapeake Explorer” mobile app helps get members of the public to over 400 Chesapeake places including national trails, heritage sites, and state and national parks.These are treasured locations where you and your students can learn about the region’s diverse environments, history, heritage, and beauty firsthand. Find places nearby by activity, trail name, or type of site. Take your students on a suggested tour, build your own tour, tag favorites, share photos or save places for field trips you would like to take your class on later!
This App will help your students explore the 11 iconic National Wildlife Refuges of the Chesapeake Bay!It features overview information about the Chesapeake Bay watershed, details that could help you schedule a field trip to a refuge (including location, operating hours, and refuge guides) and a digital field guide that lets users view all the plants and animals observed at each refuge. Students who visit the refuges independently or on a field trip can submit wildlife observations, help document species, and earn some awesome patches along the way! The app was developed through a partnership among the Chesapeake Conservancy and National Geographic Society with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It incorporates the popular Project Noah wildlife photo-sharing service.
Created by the Chesapeake Bay Trust, this interactive field guide includes ALL the wild animals and plants of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. For novices and experts alike, the Chesapeake Bay Field Guide provides localized wildlife information about the birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, butterflies, trees, and seashore creatures you’ll find around the Bay. It’s comprehensive– all native birds and animals are included, along with photos, in-depth descriptions, audio, field marks and more. Users can also search for Endangered Species or Poisonous/Dangerous species.This is a great App for students to use for research project about Chesapeake critters!
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 $505,693for 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, 2014by 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.
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 email@example.com. Kristin is also a former Environmental Management Staffer at the Chesapeake Bay Program.
Another perk of volunteering, you get a cool t-shirt and lunch! Volunteers at the 2012 Chesapeake Bay Bowl. Image via Chesapeake Bay Bowl
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl a competition for teams of high school students that is coordinated by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance research, education, and sound ocean policy. Regional competitions, such as the Chesapeake Bay Bowl, are run by staff at universities, research institutions, Sea Grant programs, and aquaria, and rely heavily on a large, knowledgeable volunteer base.
For the first time this year, the Chesapeake Bay Bowl, which serves students from PA, DE, MD, and northern VA, will be coordinated by Delaware Sea Grant and the University of Delaware. The competition will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Delaware – that’s right, at the beach – AND we are looking for volunteers!
In some regional competitions, the competitor to volunteer ratio can be close to 2:1 or even 1:1. These volunteers include university faculty and staff, museum and aquarium scientists and educators, graduate and undergraduate students, personnel from the US Navy and Coast Guard, and NOAA staff, all brought together for one purpose—to foster the next generation of ocean science professionals and ocean literate citizens—through good-spirited competition.
If you are interested in volunteering, in any capacity, all Regional Coordinators would love to have you! Jobs include everything from presiding over matches and reading questions (Moderator) to Science Judge to Rules Judge to keeping score or running the clock. Are you more into scoring the Team Challenge Questions? Each bowl needs several of these important volunteers!
I have volunteered with NOSB regional competitions nine times in the last eight years (yes, I still have all of my t-shirts!). I have served as Science Judge, Rules Judge, Team Challenge Question Scorer, Room Runner, and Chief Scorekeeper. Year after year, it is one of the most worthwhile programs I am involved in; I look forward to it every winter. I have been fortunate enough to work with all kinds of interesting marine science professionals, and even cooler, with volunteers who are former competitors.
Volunteering typically includes participating in a few training sessions in the weeks leading up to the event, and then committing a full Saturday to your competition. It’s a long day, but extraordinarily rewarding—these students are amazing to work with and watch! The knowledge, tenacity, and strategy the students demonstrate are remarkable.
Ok, get your thinking caps on and no cheating! Can you answer the following three questions?
Team faceoff in buzzer questions. Image via Blue Crab Bowl
For a nice 4-minute overview of a regional bowl, check out this video about Virginia’s Blue Crab Bowl.
1. Which organisms form the base of the food chain at hydrothermal vents due to their ability to convert carbon and nutrients into organic matter in the absence of sunlight?
A. photosynthetic bacteria;B. chemosynthetic bacteria;C. secondary consumers;D. pelagic chondrichthyans
2. What is the approximate age of the oldest oceanic crust?
A. 100 thousand years;B. 1 million years;C. 50 million years;D. 180 million years
3. Which part of a tidal cycle has minimal current?
A. Ebb tide;B. Flood tide;C. Slack tide;D. Lunar tide
These questions—written by top ocean scientists and educators—are just a few examples of the hundreds of questions asked of students participating in the 25 regional competitions and annual national competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Go to the end of this blog to see if you answered correctly!
Created in 1998 in honor of the International Year of the Ocean, the National Ocean Sciences Bowl has grown tremendously, in size and prominence, to now involving roughly 400 schools, 2,000 students, and over 1,200 volunteers each year.
In head-to-head competition, quiz-bowl style, individuals from two teams of high school students (four students, one alternate and, of course, a teacher coach) answer moderate and advanced-level questions covering all disciplines of the ocean sciences: biology, chemistry, geology, physics, policy, maritime history, and technology. In between two rounds of “buzzer questions,” students collaborate to answer more in-depth, graded questions known as Team Challenge Questions as a collective-brain. At the end of the day, a winner is crowned and prizes are awarded. The winners of the 25 regional competitions then move on to the national competition and battle for the championship and amazing prizes. Past winners have received trips to Hawaii, Costa Rica, and Panama, field research experiences, and gear for the classroom and field.
The Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic region is fortunate to have six regional competitions:
Chesapeake Bay Bowl (Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Northern Virginia, and the District of Columbia)
If you are interested in developing a team at your high school for any of the NOSB regional competitions, now is the time to start preparing your students. Team registration information for all regional competitions is now posted. The NOSB website includes a wealth of information on how to prepare for a competition, with recommended resources, training tips, and sample questions. If your school is interested in participating in the Chesapeake Bay Bowl, fill our this form by November 20th: http://bit.ly/CBB2014Intent
I hope to see you at the 2014 Chesapeake Bay Bowl on February 1!
How did you do on the quiz? Here are the correct answers: Question 1: B; Question 2: D; Question 3: C
Some nature centers, like the new Robinson Nature Center in Howard County, MD even provide information about the Chesapeake Bay watershed! Image courtesy of http://livegreenhoward.com
Wonder where to get your students outside and exploring nature? Look no further than your local nature center.
Nature centers usually offer environment education programs for K-12 students. Participating in one of these programs is a great way to get your students’ hands wet and feet dirty. The center’s seasoned staff will take your students on a journey of discovery. Programs usually cover a variety of topics from critters in the classroom to hands-on restoration or land use issues.
The best way to find a nature center in your area is to search through our online database or a simple Google search. Some states also have a directory, such as the Pennsylvania Nature Center Directory, which lists nature centers by county.