Chesapeake Classrooms

Chesapeake-Classrooms-Kenny-Fletcher-1171x593

Hands on learning is a hallmark of all CBF environmental education programs, from the youngest students to the most seasoned educators.

Kenny Fletcher

CBF is committed to environmental education and equipping teachers with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to lead their students in Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs). Join us for a professional learning adventure this summer! We offer nearly 20 courses for educators to explore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and ecosystems throughout the watershed. Each course provides the opportunity for collaboration, outdoor exploration, and ecosystem discovery.

2024 Chesapeake Classroom Courses

Registration is now open! The following information applies to all courses. For more information, please contact the Chesapeake Classrooms team, 410-268-8816.

Important Information

Course Credit

Upon successful course completion, participants may be eligible for continuing education credit or contact hours. Graduate credit may also be available for some courses and requires additional forms and fees. See details on the Professional Learning Credits page.

Audience

Many courses are designed to meet the needs of a specific school district. However, there are several courses open to any teacher in DC, MD, VA, PA. Review the Course List below for details.

Orientation

Attendance at one virtual orientation is required prior to your course. Dates and times will be provided.

Cost

Generous support from donors and grants allows us to offer each Chesapeake Classrooms course at a discounted rate. See course registration pages to determine if you are eligible for teacher scholarships or additional school system discounts. Unless otherwise stated, lodging and transportation are not included.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations made before June 1 will receive a full refund minus a $75 processing fee. No refunds will be granted after June 1; however, we are happy to transfer registration to another course, based on availability. All cancellation and transfer requests must be made in writing and sent to the Chesapeake Classrooms team.

Registration Deadline

Course registration will close two weeks prior to the course start date.

2024 Course List

The following is a list of available courses, grouped by week. An asterisk (*) indicates course registration is open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA. Select the course title to view the details.

Week of June 2-8

Week of June 16-22

Week of June 23-29

Week of July 7-13

Week of July 14-20

Week of July 21-27

Week of July 28-August 3

Week of August 4-10

Week of August 11-17


Tuesday, June 4-Wednesday, June 5
Pennsylvania Teachers on the Water
Open to all teachers in PA.
Teachers are invited to learn with CBF while canoeing, exploring the joy of the watershed, and investigating how outdoor experiences promote environmental literacy while engaging students in hands-on learning. No prior canoeing experience is required. Using the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) framework, participants will learn how to connect local resources to classroom content to create rich learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Participants from the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (IU15) who asynchronously complete MWEE 101 and attend the field experience on June 5 will be eligible for a $200 stipend and Act 48 credits. Box lunch will be provided.
Length & Location: Two days of programming. One day of asynchronous virtual learning and one day of collaborative, outdoor learning in Central Pennsylvania on June 5. Exact location details for June 5 will be shared closer to the course start date.
Cost: $25. Reduced fee due to the partnership between the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education & Training (B-WET) Program and Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
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Thursday, June 20-Friday, June 21
Baltimore Watershed Exploration
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
How do we create Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEE) for students in urban environments like Baltimore City? Spend two days with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as we explore local waterways, discuss land use, and partake in hands-on investigations in the lively city of Baltimore. With this immersive approach to teaching and learning, you will be able to seamlessly connect your curriculum content with outdoor learning opportunities in our urban communities within the watershed. 
Length & Location: Two days of collaborative, outdoor learning around Baltimore, MD.
Cost: $25.
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Thursday, June 20-Saturday, June 22
Worcester County to the Chesapeake
Open to all teachers in Worcester County, MD.
How can we use the tidal marshes, maritime forests, and estuarine beaches of the Eastern Shore as useful outdoor classrooms and create curricular inspiration that spark wonder and curiosity in learning? Join CBF and fellow Worcester County teachers for three full days of field-based study at the beautiful Karen Noonan Center in Dorchester County, MD. There we will explore the unique and varied habitats and history of the Chesapeake Bay. Participants will experience the wonder of watershed ecology firsthand while studying the plants and animals of the Bay’s brackish water system. Be a part of developing the plan to integrate environmental literacy throughout a student’s education career with Worcester County Public Schools.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning at CBF’s Karen Noonan Memorial Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing and meals are provided.
Cost: $375. Additional discounts are available for Worcester County teachers.
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Monday, June 24-Thursday, June 27
Carroll County Watershed Exploration
Open to science teachers in Carroll County, MD.
Carroll County science educators are invited to join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in the field for four days of ecological exploration. Spark your inquiry through hands-on experiences and cultivate a genuine understanding of your local environment and its connection to the Chesapeake Bay. Explore Baltimore Harbor with biotic sampling aboard a 40-foot research vessel. Travel to the shores of the Bay in Annapolis and observe tidal and restored habitats firsthand from the seat of a canoe. Determine the factors that impact watershed health through chemical and physical studies of our local parks and schoolyards. Discover authentic actions that can make a difference in our homes, classrooms, and communities. Engage yourself in a week of outdoor learning and hone the skills needed to engage your students by developing an implementation plan for a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience. 
Length & Location: Four days (9 a.m.-4 p.m.) of collaborative, outdoor learning with the option for a fifth online day.
Cost: $575. Additional discounts are available for Carroll County teachers.
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Tuesday, June 25–Thursday, June 27
Howard County to the Chesapeake
Open to teachers in Howard County, MD.
Spend three days immersed in the heart of the Chesapeake at CBF’s unique outdoor classroom in Tylerton, Maryland. Investigate the major Bay habitats of oysters, salt marshes, and underwater grasses. Learn about the regional culture and the people who call the Chesapeake home. Spend time discussing how to make the Bay come alive for your students. This learning experience is specially crafted for Howard County participants in the Watershed Report Card Program, Climate kNOWledge program, the Youth Climate Institute, and educators that teach Earth Space Science, Biology, and Environmental Science.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning at CBF’s Smith Island Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing, meals, and ferry transport are provided.
Cost: $375. Additional discounts are available for Howard County teachers.
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Wednesday, June 26–Friday, June 28
James River Tidal Exploration
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
The James River's natural beauty and ecological diversity are abundant in the Tri-Cities area. How can we use these amazing outdoor classrooms to spark wonder and curiosity in learning? Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for three full days of field-based studies where we will explore the habitats along the James River and their connection to students in the classroom. Experience the wonder of watershed ecology firsthand while studying the plants and animals that call the James River home. Learn how humans impact the environment and which actions can improve and strengthen our relationship with the natural world. Find joy in outdoor discovery with a community of educators and support the development of school environmental literacy plans in your own community.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning on the tidal portion of the James River in the Tri-Cities area of Virginia.
Cost: $375. Additional discounts are available for Prince George, Colonial Heights, and Hopewell teachers.
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Tuesday, June 25–Thursday, June 27
Lynnhaven River Ecosystem Exploration
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
How can we use the tidal marshes, maritime forests, and estuarine beaches as useful outdoor classrooms and curricular inspiration that spark wonder and curiosity in learning? Join CBF for three full days of field-based studies where we will explore the unique and varied habitats of the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach and their connection to students in the classroom. Experience the wonder of watershed ecology firsthand while studying the plants and animals of this brackish water system. Learn how humans impact the local environment and which actions can improve and strengthen our relationship with the natural world. Find joy in outdoor discovery with your school community.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning in the Virginia Beach, VA region.
Cost: $375. See the registration page for information about teacher scholarships and school system discounts.
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Monday, June 24–Friday, June 28
Montgomery County Exploring Climate and Environmental Justice
Open to teachers in Montgomery County, MD.
How can we engage students in the story of a changing climate and environmental justice in Montgomery County and the Chesapeake Bay? Join the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in this study of our local environment and the people who call it home. This five-day experience will provide hands-on exploration of the ecological and social impacts of climate change, community resiliency surrounding climate change, and model the practice of student inquiry and problem-solving. Montgomery County teachers in all content areas and grade levels are encouraged to participate to enhance the cross curricular experience.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning in Montgomery County, MD.
Cost: $75, reduced fee thanks in part to a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Inclusive Learning Group.
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Monday, July 8–Friday, July 12
Fairfax County to the Chesapeake
Open to teachers in Fairfax County Public Schools.
How can teachers making connections to the Chesapeake Bay watershed and develop MWEEs? Join us for a week of field-based water quality and ecology investigations to answer this question and more. The first two days of the course will be spent exploring the local neighborhoods, habitats, and waterways of Fairfax, VA before traveling to Port Isobel, an island in the heart of the Bay. There we will spend three days and two nights investigating our connections to the Chesapeake Bay, its island communities, and unique ecology. Participants will learn outside with colleagues and develop the skills and confidence needed to lead outdoor student investigations that are place-based, cross-curricular, and inspire civic action.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday-Tuesday in Fairfax, VA. Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Port Isobel Island Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing, meals, and ferry transport are provided.
Cost: $575. Additional discounts are available for Fort Belvoir and FCPS teachers.
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Monday, July 8–Friday, July 12
Montgomery County Thinking Like a Watershed
Open to teachers in Montgomery County, MD.
How do we tell the story of our local environment? Who are the characters? What is the plotline? What themes, settings, and points-of-views shift the narrative? Join the Lathrop E. Smith Center and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for two days of local discovery and three days of Bay exploration and curriculum connections. Field-based investigations will introduce you to the plants and animals that share our watershed. Dive into the past, present, and future while learning how to elevate student voices as the storytellers of their local environment and community. Montgomery County teachers in all content areas and grade levels are encouraged to participate to enhance the cross-curricular experience.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday-Tuesday in Montgomery County, MD. Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Smith Island Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing, meals, and ferry transport are provided.
Cost: $75, reduced fee thanks in part to a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Inclusive Learning Group.
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Monday, July 8–Wednesday, July 10
Pennsylvania Capital Area Watershed Exploration
Open to all teachers in PA.
Pennsylvania teachers are invited to join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for hands-on experiences and authentic investigations that spark inquiry and cultivate a genuine understanding of the local environment and its connection to the Chesapeake Bay. This course will walk participants through the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) framework and how to connect local resources to classroom content to create rich learning opportunities outside of the classroom. Together, we will identify and investigate the environmental issues facing our local capital area waterways. Educators will collaboratively design successful MWEEs for their school communities that utilize and benefit the local environment and promote environmental literacy through STEELS standards integration. Participants from the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (IU15) who complete all components of the course will be eligible for a $300 stipend.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning in Central Pennsylvania. Exact location details will be shared closer to the course start date.
Cost: $75. Reduced fee due to the partnership between the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Watershed Education & Training (B-WET) Program and Chesapeake Bay Foundation. 
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Tuesday, July 9–Thursday, July 11
Prince George’s County Climate Change Chesapeake Exploration
Open to teachers in Prince George’s County, MD.
Can we deepen our understanding of ecological issues and climate change by immersing ourselves in Chesapeake Bay ecosystems?  In this professional learning experience, teachers will discover local ecology in the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge area while exploring the salt marsh edges and the Chesapeake Bay. Reignite your joy in inquiry through hands-on experiences, boat excursions, marsh walks, and climate change curricular connections. Explore the intersection of air quality, water quality, ecosystems, climate change, and human actions. Cultivate a genuine understanding of the current State of the Bay, human impacts on our environment, and authentic actions that can make a difference in our homes, classrooms, and communities.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning at CBF’s Karen Noonan Memorial Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing and meals are provided.
Cost: $375. Additional discounts are available for Prince George’s County science teachers.
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Monday, July 15–Friday, July 19
Wicomico County Watershed: Inspiration for Learning and Leading
Open to secondary teachers in Wicomico County, MD.
How can we inspire student action that conserves and protects our neighborhood and our watershed? Use interdisciplinary and multimodal approaches to investigate the connections between nature, culture, and history of Wicomico County. Throughout the course, we will develop creative practices to foster environmental literacy and student engagement in the classroom. We’ll begin with two days of local exploration then travel to the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge to investigate the salt marshes and Chesapeake Bay. Experience the joy of learning and design opportunities to connect students to outdoor investigations and community actions.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday-Tuesday in Wicomico County, MD. Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Karen Noonan Memorial Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing and meals are provided.
Cost: $575. Additional discounts are available for Wicomico County teachers.
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Monday, July 22–Friday, July 26
Prince George’s County Climate Change Investigations and Actions
Open to teachers in Prince George’s County, MD.
How can Prince George's County schools use their local environment to lead efforts in saving the Bay and addressing climate change? Come spend five days in the field with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation investigating watersheds, ecosystems, and their integration with environmental justice, regenerative agriculture, and climate change. Explore the vast resources in Prince George's County that can help you create lessons to elevate student voice and engage your students in hands on learning. Work with other course participants to explore and implement a seamless immersion of inquiry, student voice, and climate action into your existing curriculum.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor exploration in the urban, forested, and agricultural lands of Prince George’s County, MD by boat, canoe, and on foot.
Cost: $575. Additional discounts are available for Prince George’s County science teachers.
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Monday, July 22–Friday, July 26
Shenandoah Valley to the Chesapeake
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
How do the streams and habitats of the Shenandoah Valley create a unique story that connects us to our local environment? How can teachers use these outdoor spaces to support their school’s environmental literacy plans? Join us for five days of hands-on, field-based investigations as we explore land use, water quality, and the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Gain an in-depth understanding of our connection to the watershed by spending three days on Port Isobel, an island in the heart of the Bay. This course will model how student inquiry can lead to sustainability, civic engagement, and action as participants learn to design a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for their school community.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday-Tuesday in the Shenandoah Valley. Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Port Isobel Island Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing, meals, and ferry transport are provided.
Cost: $575. Additional discounts are available for Rockingham County teachers.
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Monday, July 29–Friday, August 2
Chesapeake Bay Island Ecology
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
As the largest estuary in the country, the Chesapeake Bay is a vast outdoor classroom abundant in wildlife, habitats, and teachable moments. Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a five-day ecological study of the ecosystems and communities found at the heart of the Bay. Participants will spend two days in a virtual class setting learning introductory Bay science, Chesapeake history, and the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience framework. The final three days of the course will take place on Port Isobel, an island in the heart of the Bay near Tangier Island, VA. Through hands-on field investigations, participants will experience the beauty and challenges facing the Chesapeake all while learning the benefits environmental education has on student engagement, mental health and wellbeing, and community connection.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday-Tuesday synchronous online learning. Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Port Isobel Island Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing, meals, and ferry transport are provided. The ferry will depart from and return to Smith Point Marina in Reedville, VA.
Cost: $575. See the registration page for information about teacher scholarships.
Register Now
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Tuesday, July 30–Thursday, August 1
Newport News Climate Change Investigations and Actions
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
Discover how you can use the environment to engage students in hands-on learning that inspires climate resilience. Spend three days with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation investigating ecosystems and climate solutions from the seat of a canoe, aboard a 40’ research vessel, and along the shorelines of our nearby waterways. Connect with local resources and field experts that can help you weave inquiry-based investigations into your existing curriculum that encourage classroom engagement and elevate student voice. This action-packed course will strengthen your connection to the natural world and equip you with skills to tackle environmental and climate concerns with your students. Lunch, snacks, and learning resources will be provided during the course.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning in and around Newport News, VA by boat, canoe, and on foot.
Cost: $375. Additional discounts are available for Newport News teachers.
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Monday, July 29–Friday, August 2
Teachers on the Estuary: Science and Social Emotional Learning
Open to all middle and high school teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA. If you are a non-formal educator interested in attending, please join our wait list on the registration page. We will contact you in early July if a spot is available. Priority will be given to classroom teachers.
Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences enliven learning and support social-emotional learning and wellness for students and teachers. This course is designed to model a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience for middle and high school students through participant-driven field experiences and authentic research conducted by a community of educators in an immersive, joyful, and supportive environment. To best utilize our time together, participants are encouraged to complete the MWEE 101 online course prior to the in-person event. This dynamic five-day program to explore cultural coastal habitats and iconic communities is offered in collaboration with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and Maryland's Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning at CBF’s Karen Noonan Memorial Environmental Education Center for a residential experience; dorm-style housing and meals provided.
Cost: $75, reduced fee due to support from generous sponsors and Maryland's Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
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Tuesday, August 6–Thursday, August 8
Maryland Eastern Shore Rivers and Streams
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
How can we use Maryland State Parks to increase student engagement and set the stage for Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences (MWEEs)? Come explore the beautiful and diverse ecosystems of Maryland's Eastern Shore on foot and by canoe! Discover the joy of learning and investigate opportunities to connect local resources to classroom content that create rich learning experiences outside of the classroom.
Length & Location: Three days of collaborative, outdoor learning on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Cabin-style camp lodging available, if needed. CBF will provide meals for participants who elect to cabin camp.
Cost: $375. See the registration page for information about teacher scholarships.
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Monday, August 5–Friday, August 9
Potomac River Our Neighborhood, Our Watershed
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
How can you inspire student action that conserves and protects water? Dive into this topic and your own watershed during a unique professional learning opportunity with the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Begin with two days of local exploration in and around Montgomery County. Then travel down Maryland's Eastern Shore to one of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's residential island education centers to experience Chesapeake Bay ecology. Teachers from Montgomery County and surrounding areas in all content areas and grade levels are encouraged to participate. Please note that teachers are responsible for travel and accommodations, if needed, on the first 2 days of the course.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday in Montgomery County, MD and Tuesday in Washington, DC. Then Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Karen Noonan Memorial Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing and meals are provided.
Cost: $75, reduced fee thanks in part to a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Inclusive Learning Group.
Register Now
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Monday, August 12–Friday, August 16
Exploring a Changing Chesapeake
Open to all teachers in DC, MD, VA, PA.
The health and productivity of the Chesapeake is dependent on the delicate balance of natural, social, and economic systems. How is climate change impacting those systems? Join the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a five-day immersive exploration of a changing Chesapeake. The course will begin with two days of online learning introducing participants to estuarine studies, climate science, and the Meaningful Watershed Education Experience framework. The remainder of the course will take place at CBF’s residential island education center on Smith Island, MD. Through hands-on investigations, participants will collect data, explore historic island communities, and discover how to make a positive impact on local environments from our classrooms and community spaces.
Length & Location: Five days of collaborative, outdoor learning. Monday-Tuesday synchronous online learning. Wednesday-Friday at CBF’s Smith Island Environmental Education Center for a residential experience where dorm-style housing, meals, and ferry transport are provided. The ferry will depart from and return to Somers Cove Marina in Crisfield, MD.
Cost: $575. See the registration page for information about teacher scholarships.
Register Now
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