Educate

Students on Skipjack - with Learn Outside logo 695x352

Students get some hands-on experience aboard CBF's skipjack "Stanley Norman."

Photo Credit: Loren Barnett/CBF Staff

For more than 40 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:

A smiling student canoeing during a CBF field experience. Photo by CBF Staff.

Field Experiences—We take students out on the Bay and its tributaries for hands-on investigation. (See a field experience in action.)

Teachers participate in a learning exercise. Photo by CBF Staff

Teacher Professional Development—"Chesapeake Classrooms" focuses on methods to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of reading, math, science, and social studies.

A teacher examines a blue crab. Photo by Kristan Honaker

Principals Environmental Leadership Program—Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.

Students examine their catch in a crab trap. Photo by CBF Staff

Student Leadership—Offering students opportunities to expand their knowledge of Bay issues, improve their planning skills, focus on team building, and learn how to lead others to take action to improve water quality in their local communities.

Resources—Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.

Meaningful Watershed Experiences

All programs are designed to support state standards of education and are based from the official definition for a "meaningful watershed education experience" (PDF, 3.4 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. (See what students and teachers have to say.)

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.

Video: Washington-Lee High School Students Explore the Bay with CBF

What is it like to go on a CBF education field experience? The Arlington Educational Television Department featured a student field experience on its weekly cable show, "Green Scene." See what we do and hear students, teachers, and CBF educators talk about the program.

Green Scene is filmed and produced by the Arlington Educational Television Department (AETV) in cooperation with the Arlington Public Schools Department of School and Community Relations.

From Our Blog

  • A Celebration of Earth

    April 21, 2020

    This week we mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Early environmental activists created Earth Day to harness the energy of their growing movement and inspire Americans to protect our planet. Cindy Duncan, a veteran CBF educator who was six years old at the time, shares her recollections.

  • Maryland Students Need Outdoor Education

    February 24, 2020

    Following an elimination of funding to aid Maryland environmental education experiences, students and educators speak out.

  • The “Aha” Moment of Environmental Education

    January 27, 2020

    For many, the thought of spending a few days in the field can be daunting. What do I pack? Will I be way outside of my comfort zone? See what one educator learned from her expedition on the Bay and how it shaped her understanding of the outdoors.

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The Bay Needs You

The 2018 State of the Bay Report makes it clear that the Bay needs our support now more than ever. Your donation helps the Chesapeake Bay Foundation maintain our momentum toward a restored Bay, rivers, and streams for today and generations to come.

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