Education in Pennsylvania
CBF's Susquehanna Watershed Education Program (SWEP), offered through the Pennsylvania office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), introduces teachers and students to aquatic ecosystems through daily, hands-on experience on waterways throughout the Susquehanna River watershed.
Each spring through late-fall, the SWEP staff of Sally Schach and Tom Parke work from dusk 'til dawn loading and unloading canoes, fitting participants with rubber boots, and providing hands-on experiences to students from throughout the region. Schach and Parke work with more than 30 school districts in the Pennsylvania portion of the Susquehanna River watershed to engage students in water quality studies, and to hopefully send them home with a newly vested interest in water-related issues.
SWEP doesn't just describe the water ecosystem. It hands it directly to participants through activities like water quality tests, macroinvertebrate studies (bugs taken right from the water and then returned), and other programs designed to engage the students and support learning through hands-on experiences.
"Students participating in a SWEP program gain a unique view of their watershed as they explore their local stream with wide-eyed excitement," says SWEP Manager, Sally Schach. "With the help of caddisfly larvae, stonefly nymphs, and the occasional sunfish, we are able to help students connect the health of local waterways to the health of the Susquehanna River, and ultimately to the Bay. When linked with classroom curriculum and the PA standards, these experiences provide an academic base on which to build further learning, as well as participation in action projects that support improved water quality."
If you're interested in finding out more about CBF's educational opportunities in Pennsylvania, call our office at 717/234-5550.