With Schools

Students aboard CBF's skipjack Stanley Norman. Photo by Loren Appel/CBF Staff.

Bringing the Bay Experience to Students and Teachers

Learn OutsideFor more than 30 years, CBF's award-winning environmental education program has been one of the cornerstones of our effort to reverse the Bay's decline.

Our acclaimed programs include:

  • Field Experiences—These programs take students out on the Bay and its tributaries for hands-on investigation.
  • Teacher Professional DevelopmentChesapeake Classrooms program, which focuses on methods to incorporate environmental education into the core subject areas of reading, math, science, and social studies.
  • Teacher Resources—Activities, classroom curricula, and advanced water quality monitoring materials.
  • Student LeadershipStudent Wave effort, for high school students, with action projects, ways to share accomplishments, summer environmental leadership courses, and other opportunities.

All programs are designed to support state standards of education and are based from the official definition for a "meaningful watershed education experience" (PDF, 0.9 MB) as defined by the Chesapeake Bay Program. Programs are supported and created in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and the National Geographic Society.

Opportunities include exploration of local wetlands by canoe or a day aboard a historic, 100-year-old skipjack, our traditional watermen workboats, or modern research vessels. In the heart of the Chesapeake, our island centers provide a unique insight into how the livelihoods of watermen are connected to the Bay, offering participants the opportunity to interact with surrounding 300-year-old fishing communities. Learn more about our education staff.

CBF's environmental education opportunities link the natural environment and human culture of the Chesapeake. They enable students and teachers to conduct their own research through biological sampling, chemical analysis, and physical measurements. In addition to using critical thinking skills to evaluate the health of the ecological system, participants also gain a unique perspective in the relationship between water quality, fisheries, and economics. Our courses combine many academic disciplines, such as earth science, biology, history, art, English/writing, math, chemistry, civics, economics, government, and responsible citizenship.

Innovative teaching methods and a knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff have put CBF at the vanguard of the environmental education movement. The result is an exceptionally informed and inspired constituency that values the Bay and its watershed as a living, connected system. Read what people are saying out our education programs.

Watch our video, "You Gotta Be There!"


Teacher Professional Development

CBF provides high-quality professional development that meets the evolving needs of teachers and school communities. Find out more.

Logo: Chesapeake Classrooms

FY 2014 Education Accomplishments

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and the commitment of our educators and staff, CBF accomplished the following in Fiscal Year 2014.

Conducted hands-on, on-the-water, environmental education experiences for 35,000 students, teachers, and adults.

Taught 28 Chesapeake Classrooms teacher professional development courses for almost 400 teachers from Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. Teachers paddled canoes, tested water quality, participated in hands-on activities, and developed lesson plans for incorporating Bay studies into their classes.

Facilitated five Student Leadership courses with 67 young adults aged 14 to 17 from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. After the program, these
students participate in CBF events and communicate Blueprint-related priorities to their peers through involvement in environmental clubs and student government associations.

Supported student alumni of our field education programs. Helped them develop Bay-related action projects through online resources, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and CBF's Student Wave website.

Continued work with nine Maryland school systems to ensure all students receive environmental education experiences and that teachers
have the tools to fully implement Maryland's environmental literacy graduation requirement.

Maintained environmental literacy partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Began work with Rockingham County Public Schools in Virginia on a plan to connect classroom instruction to outdoor learning at every grade level.

Led 78 principals and school administrators in four Principal Environmental Leadership Courses to increase school system support for environmental education and promote green school programs.

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