Time is running out for teachers to sign up their middle and high school students for on-the-water investigations in the Shenandoah Valley this spring with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF). Canoe trips on local waterways offer an unforgettable learning experience that supports state standards.
"Hands-on experiences during CBF trips allow our students to not only learn about watershed issues, but to also understand them," said Eric Fitzgerald, Rockingham County Public Schools Director of Career and Technical Education. "Students become the experts after experiencing the natural world through these trips and then teach others—their peers, parents, and friends—about the importance of ‘Saving the Bay.' I believe CBF field experiences are one of the best tools we have to teach science, best agricultural practices, and ecology."
While exploring local waterways on foot and by canoe, students test water quality, survey wildlife, and examine sources of pollution. CBF's professional education staff work with teachers to design investigations that complement their curriculum. On these field experiences students collect authentic scientific data, which they then interpret and analyze with CBF staff using an age-appropriate, student-centered approach.
"Outdoor learning is an opportunity to forge a real connection to Virginia's beautiful waterways," said Deidra Floyd, CBF Director of Field Programs. "Studies have shown that environmental education improves academic performance, increases civic engagement, and instills a belief that individuals can make a difference."
Space is limited. Teachers are encouraged to register by visiting www.cbf.org/education or calling CBF's scheduling offices with questions at 410-268-8816.