With Schools

Students aboard CBF's skipjack Stanley Norman. Photo by Loren Appel/CBF Staff.

Bringing the Bay Experience to Students and Teachers

Learn OutsideFor more than 30 years, CBF's award-winning environmental education program has been one of the cornerstones of our effort to reverse the Bay's decline.

Our acclaimed programs include:

  • Field Experiences—These programs take students out on the Bay and its tributaries for hands-on investigation.
  • Teacher Professional DevelopmentChesapeake Classrooms program, which focuses on methods to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of reading, math, science, and social studies.
  • Teacher Resources—Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.
  • Student LeadershipStudent Wave effort, for high school students, with action projects, ways to share accomplishments, summer environmental leadership courses, and other opportunities.

All programs are designed to support state standards of education and are based from the official definition for a "meaningful watershed education experience" (PDF, 0.9 MB) as defined by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Programs are supported and created in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Geographic Society.

Opportunities include exploration of local wetlands by canoe or a day aboard a historic, 100-year-old skipjack, our traditional watermen workboats, or modern research vessels. In the heart of the Chesapeake, our island centers provide a unique insight into how the livelihoods of watermen are connected to the Bay, offering participants the opportunity to interact with surrounding 300-year-old fishing communities. Learn more about our education staff.

CBF's environmental education opportunities link the natural environment and human culture of the Chesapeake. They enable students and teachers to conduct their own research through biological sampling, chemical analysis, and physical measurements. In addition to using critical thinking skills to evaluate the health of the ecological system, participants also gain a unique perspective in the relationship between water quality, fisheries, and economics. Our courses combine many academic disciplines, such as earth science, biology, history, art, English/writing, math, chemistry, civics, economics, government, and responsible citizenship.

Innovative teaching methods and a knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff have put CBF at the vanguard of the environmental education movement. The result is an exceptionally informed and inspired constituency that values the Bay and its watershed as a living, connected system. Read what people are saying out our education programs.

Watch our video, "You Gotta Be There!"

In the News

11.26.16 - Spratley students help Chesapeake Bay Foundation plant rain garden

11.25.16 - Virginia Beach students fight against the tide in nature lesson

11.21.16 - New VA plant promises cleaner way to make paper

10.31.16 - CV student earns FFA national award

10.31.16 - On the James, environmental advocacy targets Hispanic population

10.28.16 - School on water

10.21.16 - Kent School Collaborates with National Aquarium

10.18.16 - Huntingtown High group hosts Bay restoration, conservation event

10.17.16 - Canoe trip provides pathway to learning

10.13.16 - Saving the Bay, One Oyster at a Time

10.13.16 - Students take educational cruise to Port Isobel West

10.13.16 - Chesapeake Bay has its own king crab: Giant blue is caught in Harford County

10.13.16 - High school students on Maryland boat tour encounter massive blue crab

10.12.16 - Giant blue crab caught by Maryland high school students

10.11.16 - Check out this giant crab found near Havre de Grace

10.11.16 - Students paddle Susquehanna with teacher who's seen it all

09.26.16 - Video Chambersburg students explore lakes, streams

09.22.16 - The Susquehanna River is our outdoor classroom

09.15.16 - Floating classroom provides hands-on learning

09.13.16 - Crossroads students canoe river

09.06.16 - VA middle schools embrace agriscience education, FFA

08.10.16 - A great program for the Bay

08.09.16 - Afloat with CBF

08.03.16 - Charting a course for clean water

07.23.16 - Video Annapolis High IB graduate rows to success

07.08.16 - Teachers learn clean water lessons

07.06.16 - TVEC students raise money for Chesapeake Bay Foundation

06.29.16 - Area governor's school students learn by seeing and doing on annual summer trip

06.16.16 - Video Hampton students spend year growing oysters for Elizabeth Lake reef

05.31.16 - The World Is Their Oyster

05.23.16 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation hosts educational program

05.23.16 - Fairfield students canoe for environment

05.22.16 - Video Susquehanna Watershed Education Program

05.12.16 - Audio available Moving the Classroom Outdoors

04.22.16 - Gov. McAuliffe celebrates National Environmental Education Week with Virginia Beach middle-schoolers

04.21.16 - Earth Day and every day, Brock Center soars past expectations

04.20.16 - Students sort trees for a healthy environment

04.18.16 - Eastern York students learn hands-on in canoes

04.14.16 - Students gain concrete skills by building oyster reef balls

04.13.16 - Reef ball construction at CAT North

04.12.16 - 4th Annual Youth Conservation Leadership Camp

04.11.16 - Creating jobs—and environmental awareness

03.24.16 - Audio available Scholarships Available for "Teachers on the Bay" Class

03.09.16 - Audio available Coalition Works to Expand Environmental Literacy

03.04.16 - Thumbs up for reef balls

11.03.15 - World literacy toward ag vital, too

09.25.15 - Teach your children well: Education mandate propels environmental programs in schools

09.15.15 - Audio available Canoeing for water quality

09.13.15 - Chesapeake school principals bring home lessons from Tangier Island

09.13.15 - Md. gets schools, students involved in environment

09.04.15 - Video Seeking Clarity: York's watershed steward program among ways to get involved

08.25.15 - Video Spending a morning on the Chesapeake Bay

08.25.15 - Chesapeake Bay Foundation educational boat trip

08.23.15 - Md. teachers get schooled in the envrionment at the Chesapeake Bay

08.13.15 - Environmental literacy made Md. graduation requirement

08.10.15 - Delmarva paddle designed to help new Bay leaders navigate future efforts

08.07.15 - Teen of the Week: Annapolis High grad didn't take the easy route to the Big Easy

07.27.15 - Camp for teachers

07.22.15 - Manchester Valley High administrators turn focus to environment

07.19.15 - Learning lessons in the field

07.19.15 - Teachers get feet wet at Envirothon workshop

07.16.15 - Environment teachers get their feet wet

07.15.15 - Charlottesville teacher sole Virginia representative of environmental education workshop

07.14.15 - Envirothon teachers attend two-day workshop

05.13.15 - Lessons begin to reflect new environmental literacy graduation requirement

05.11.15 - Susquehanna Watershed Education Program Offers Students First-Hand Experience in Water Quality Testing


FY 2016 Education Accomplishments

INSPIRED approximately 40,000 students, teachers, and adults through hands-on, outdoor educational experiences. CBF has 15 educational programs, ranging from multi-day courses at our island residential centers to one-day field experiences.

SERVED 7,000 students from disadvantaged communities by working directly with Title I schools. As environmental education is linked to academic achievement, it is especially important that socioeconomic status does not prevent access to our programs.

EDUCATED nearly 400 teachers through Chesapeake Classrooms. CBF's professional learning courses prepare teachers with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to incorporate environmental education into classroom curricula.

EXPANDED our Student Leadership Program. Designed to engage the most motivated and passionate students, this program educates students about Bay issues and prepares them to lead others in projects that will improve water quality in their local communities. This year, more than 80 student leaders attended CBF's week-long summer courses, and many others attended events and participated online.

LED the Virginia No Child Left Inside Coalition, advocating at the state and local level for a more systemic approach to environmental education. Through this work, CBF hopes to ensure that all Virginia students have access to high-quality outdoor learning and graduate environmentally literate.

KEPT the Chesapeake Bay's health before the public and our elected officials, appearing in the media an average of 4.5 times per day.

RAISED public awareness by growing our social media presence. Our average daily following on Facebook is now 69,798 people—an increase of 62 percent from last year!

Teacher Professional Development

CBF provides high-quality professional development that meets the evolving needs of teachers and school communities. Find out more.

Logo: Chesapeake Classrooms

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