Chesapeake Classrooms Open Courses

Teachers collect water samples CBFStaff 1171x593

Collecting water samples for testing water quality is just one of many hands-on experiences educators learn from during CBF professional development programs. (Photo taken pre-COVID-19)

CBF Staff

Join us for a professional learning adventure.  CBF is offering more than 20 courses that will explore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and local ecosystems throughout the watershed. Each of these courses provides opportunities for online collaboration, outdoor exploration, and independent discovery.  Fear not, you will not be sitting behind a computer all day! Though we will not be learning with you on boats and canoes this summer, we are able to dive into the challenge facing all educators today:  How can we make online learning about your local ecosystem interesting, engaging and meaningful?  

Courses Open to All Educators 

These courses are open to all educators throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Delaware.

Additional region-specific Chesapeake Classrooms courses are available on our Restricted Courses page.

Important Information About This Year’s Program Fees:
We are pleased to be able to offer our courses at rates ranging up to $125. Please select the course you are interested in to learn more about specific pricing.  

June 14- August 12, 2021
Watershed Connections: Summer 2021
Open to all educators watershedwide. 
How can you guide your students from environmental inquiry to watershed action? Explore at your own pace with CBF’s fully online, asynchronous Chesapeake Classrooms course. Participants from across the watershed will be provided with resources and guidance to identify and investigate relevant environmental issues in their local contexts and develop an understanding of their connection to other parts of the watershed and the issues facing the Chesapeake Bay. This course models the practice of how student inquiry can lead to civic engagement and action as participants learn to design a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for their students and connect with local environmental education providers. Course materials will be mailed to each participant, coursework will be completed through CBF’s Google Classroom, and virtual assistance from CBF educators and the course mentor teacher will be provided.
Length & Location: The entire course will be conducted online and will incorporate individual outdoor, inquiry-based investigation in your yard, neighborhood, or local park and is open to all educators. 
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 MSDE Continuing Professional Development credits, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours, Pennsylvania teachers are eligible for 50 Act 48 professional development hours.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, June 1st at 4 p.m.
Register Now

June Courses | July Courses | August Courses

JUNE

June 28-July 2, 2021
Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem Ecology
Open to all educators watershedwide.
How do the various ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay watershed interact with, depend on, and connect with one another and how do humans influence the degradation and restoration of these systems?  Participants will gain knowledge of the ecological roles of key Chesapeake Bay watershed species, from the mountains to the Bay, and the physical and chemical interactions of these organisms and their ecosystems.  Exposure to combination of hands-on data collection and use of technology/public data records will help participants develop classroom and field investigations for their students, as well as skills to help students plan action projects.
Length & Location: The entire course will be conducted online over five days and will incorporate individual outdoor, inquiry-based investigations in your community.
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 MSDE Continuing Professional Development credits, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours, Pennsylvania teachers are eligible for 50 Act 48 professional development hours.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, June 8th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

JULY

July 12-16, 2021
Exploring Ecology Through Creating Art
Open to all educators watershedwide. No previous art training required.
How can we deepen our understanding of ecological issues through creating art? Throughout this week-long course, we will use art as a tool to inform our studies of the Chesapeake Bay. Teachers will discover educational resources in their local area and across the watershed. We will delve into the varied connections between art, nature, culture, and history. From the remarkable crafts that helped construct our region to the artful STEAM integrations propelling us into the future, creativity will be the theme of the week. The natural world will be studied in a way that promotes inspiration in each participant, and in turn, their students and community.
Length & Location: The entire course will be conducted online over five days and will incorporate individual outdoor, inquiry-based investigations in your yard, neighborhood, and local parks. 
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 MSDE Continuing Professional Development credits, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours, Pennsylvania teachers are eligible for 50 Act 48 professional development hours.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, June 29th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

July 12-16, 2021
Oysters, Chesapeake Gold Saving the Bay: Maryland 
Open to all Maryland educators.
How have oysters shaped the ecology, culture, and physical characteristics of the Chesapeake Bay region?  Join us as we examine the role oysters have played throughout Maryland’s history—from being a bountiful protein source to a scarce delicacy—and as we look to technological and economic advances to bring oysters as a food source, keystone species, and ecosystem engineer back into the spotlight.  Resources will be provided for teachers to develop and implement inquiry-based curriculum and student action projects at their schools.
Length & Location: **UPDATE Due to the recent lift of COVID-19 restrictions, this course will now take place primarily in-person. This five-day hybrid course will have two online days and three in-person days at St Michaels, Crocheron, and Cambridge, Maryland.
Credit: Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits from MSDE.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, June 29th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

July 19-23, 2021
Exploring Climate Change in the Bay 
Open to all Maryland educators.
How can you engage your students in investigating climate change impacts on the ecology of their community? Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as we investigate climate change impacts and ecosystem resilience locally and in the Bay. We will explore climate change storytelling through maps and artifacts in and around the Chesapeake Bay. 
Length & Location: The course will be conducted online and in-person over five days and will local incorporate outdoor, inquiry-based investigations.    
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 MSDE Continuing Professional Development credits, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours, Pennsylvania teachers are eligible for 50 Act 48 professional development hours.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, July 13th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

July 19-23, 2021 
Exploring Our Urban Watersheds: Washington, D.C.
This course is designed for Washington, D.C.-area educators and will involve collaboration with teachers from the Harrisburg, Baltimore, and Richmond cohorts. 
How has the formation of large cities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed impacted the ecology of major tributaries? Washington, DC.’s unique history and culture has impacted the health and resilience of the Potomac River, and in turn, the Chesapeake Bay. A special focus on the environmental justice issues related to air and water quality in DC will highlight opportunities for student action projects around environmental equity. Field experiences will feature stream and water quality assessment and course participants will be supported in designing and implementing Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience plans for their students. Synchronous, online portions of the course will provide opportunities for collaboration and discussion about urban watershed and environmental justice issues with teachers participating in the Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Richmond cohorts of this course. For anyone unable to attend field components, an all-virtual option will be available. Open to all Washington, D.C. area teachers. 
Length & Location: The course will be conducted online and in-person over five days and will local incorporate outdoor, inquiry-based investigations. 
Credit:
 Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, July 13th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

July 19-23, 2021 
Exploring Our Urban Watersheds: Baltimore
This course is open to Baltimore City Public School teachers and will involve collaboration with teachers from the Harrisburg, Washington, D.C., and Richmond cohorts. 
How has the formation of large cities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed impacted the ecology of major tributaries? Baltimore’s unique history and culture has impacted the health and resilience of the Patapsco River, and in turn, the Chesapeake Bay. A special focus on the environmental justice issues related to air and water quality in Baltimore will highlight opportunities for and successes of student action projects. Field experiences will focus on stream and water quality assessment and Baltimore biology teachers will be supported in personalizing and implementing the 9th-grade MWEE. Synchronous, online portions of the course will provide opportunities for collaboration and discussion about urban watershed and environmental justice issues with teachers participating in the Richmond, DC, and Harrisburg cohorts of this course. For anyone unable to attend field components, an all-virtual option will be available. Open to all Baltimore area teachers. 
Length & Location: The course will be conducted online and in-person over five days and will local incorporate outdoor, inquiry-based investigations. 
Credit: Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits from MSDE.
Orientation Date: Tuesday, July 13th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

July 26-30, 2021
Teachers on the Estuary: Resilient Communities and Coasts
Open to educators watershedwide.
How can we make curriculum come alive with real-time data and explore how human and environmental health are tied to resilience? During this dynamic five-day virtual program, you will explore the Chesapeake Bay's cultural coastal habitats and iconic communities by conducting field investigations with local scientists, community leaders, and educators from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and Maryland's Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. This course is designed to model a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience through participant-driven field experiences and authentic research. Participants are asked to complete the MWEE101 online course prior to the start of the in-person course. This will allow us to better utilize our time together. Taking this online course will also allow you to get 1 additional CPD credit in MD, 3 Act 48 hours in PA, and 15 contact hours in VA.
Length & Location: The entire course will be conducted online over five days and will incorporate individual outdoor, inquiry-based investigations in your community.
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 MSDE Continuing Professional Development credits, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours, Pennsylvania teachers are eligible for 50 Act 48 professional development hours. Graduate credit is available from Mary Baldwin University and for an additional fee. Visit our credit page for more information and registration.  
Orientation Date: Tuesday, July 13th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

AUGUST

August 2-6, 2021
Northern Virginia: Fostering a Sense of Place with MMEEs
Open to all teachers in Northern Virginia. 
How do the streams and valleys of Northern Virginia create a unique story and connection to the local environment?  Join with teachers from across our region to identify and investigate environmental issues and develop an understanding of our connection to other parts of the watershed and the issues facing the Chesapeake Bay. This course models the practice of how student inquiry can lead to civic engagement and action as participants learn to design a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for their students. 
Length & Location: The course will be conducted online over five days and will incorporate independent outdoor, inquiry-based investigations. In addition, if COVID-19 regulations allow, participants will have an opportunity to participate in facilitated local in-person field experiences. 
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours.,
Orientation Date: Tuesday, July 20th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

August 9-13, 2021
Environmental Justice in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed 
Open to educators watershedwide.
How are unhealthy air and water pollution disproportionately concentrated within vulnerable communities across the watershed? This five-day course will explore a cross-section of environmental justice issues impacting watershed residents and learn how investigating natural systems can help communities and schools create change for a greener, more equitable future. This virtual course is open to all educators and designed to support transdisciplinary learning goals as well as classrooms with students who are eager to understand and impact their community. 
Length & Location: The entire course will be conducted online over five days and will incorporate individual outdoor, inquiry-based investigations in your yard, neighborhood, and local parks. 
Credit: Upon successful completion of all course requirements, Maryland teachers are eligible for 3 MSDE Continuing Professional Development credits, Virginia and Washington, D.C. teachers are eligible for documentation of 45 contact hours, Pennsylvania teachers are eligible for 50 Act 48 professional development hours. 
Orientation Date: Tuesday, July 27th at 4 p.m.
Register Now

Decades of Success: The 1970s

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Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

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