Can’t get away from school for a field trip?
The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center will come to you!
We offer a variety of outreach programs that are hands-on and make a meaningful addition to your curriculum. Programs and rates are described below. To discuss scheduling a program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 410.827.6694. Then, complete and return the Outreach Program Request Form found on the Teachers Resource Page.
Birds of Prey Program- Appropriate for all ages, 1-2 hours
During this program, participants will meet several different species of raptors, and discover the special adaptations of these birds of prey. Through up-close observations and discussions, the participants will learn about the unique visual and auditory adaptations, as well as other features that put these hunters at the pinnacle of the food chain. Special attention will be given to the importance of raptors to an ecosystem, especially the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Finally, participants will conduct a pellet dissection and use identification materials to determine the diet of an owl.
Remarkable Oyster- Appropriate for 3rd grade through adults, 1-2 hours
Discover the amazing filtering ability of this important mollusk and its effects on Chesapeake Bay water quality. Participants will learn about the life cycle of an oyster and the process of restoring the oyster population that many restoration organizations are currently engaged in. Participants will also explore the importance of oyster reefs so vital to the Bay’s biodiversity by learning different reef structures and configurations and the success of these artificial habitats. Finally, participants will examine live reef shell looking for a myriad of inhabiting organisms that live within the Benthic Community.
Build-a-Buoy – STEM program – Appropriate for 4th grade through adults, 1.5-2 hours
Participants learn about bay health and research through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. This program incorporates learning the importance of team building, communication and problem solving skills while utilizing and understanding the importance of technology in bay restoration efforts. Teams of students design and construct a buoy monitor, calculate expenses, and compete against other teams to create the most effective buoy.
Geocaching – STEM program – Appropriate for 4th grade through adults, 1-2 hours
Students will learn about applications of GPS technology and how to use Garmin eTrex GPS units. Participants will then use their GPS skills to search for several “cache” sites around the school property (set-up ahead of time). Students will be able to explore and learn about their school’s natural surroundings.
Hooray for Horseshoe Crabs – Appropriate for pK-Adults, 0.5-1.5 hours
Students participate in a program designed to give them a basic understanding of the Horseshoe Crab – Lymulus Polyphemus – and its importance as a resource to three distinct groups: HSC provide an important food source for migrating shorebirds, Fisherman harvest HSC to be used as bait and HSC are important for medical research and human health – BIRDS, BAIT & BLOOD. Program includes handling of models or live crabs (in season, generally May-August), a lively presentation with many artifacts to investigate, a short video, and a review game (optional).
Welcome to the Watershed – Appropriate for 2nd-8th, 1-1.5 hours
Using technology, including interactive maps and FieldScope, students will be able to visualize their position in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and refine their definition of a watershed. Using a model to represent the Chesapeake Bay, students participate in an interactive story dramatizing how, as populations increase and resource use changes, a water body can become polluted. Students will discuss human impacts on the health of the watershed, paying particular attention to their personal impacts, negative and positive. Students will propose personal actions to improve water quality and promote environmental stewardship.
Critters of the Chesapeake – Appropriate for pK-6th, program time depends on number of programs selected
Let CBEC’s educators take over instruction for the day (or most of it) and bring 2-4 of our critter focused programs to you! Cost is per class, with up to 4 programs running concurrently, so we can accommodate up to 4 classes at a time. Choose from Remarkable Oysters, Birds of Prey, Hooray for Horseshoe Crabs, and Welcome to the Watershed to create a hands-on, exciting in-school field trip! Programs can be adjusted to run 45 minutes to 1 hour each.