2020 Outdoor and Experiential Education
“Live It; Learn It”.
At BLS, Outdoor Education is a means of curriculum enhancement through experiences in the outdoors. Students are actively engaged in an authentic experience making discoveries and experimenting with knowledge themselves instead of hearing and reading about the experiences of others.
Baltimore Lab School Watershed Stewards of the Chesapeake Bay is a program which combines education about the Bay and student-initiated action projects. Individual students are eligible to earn community service hours by participating.
Lower School Day Trips
A Day on the Severn- 1st through 5th grade students are introduced to the Chesapeake Bay by spending a relaxing day swimming and canoeing next to the Severn River in Severna Park, MD. This foundational experience sets the stage for our students to fall in love with, and care about the Bay.
North Bay Adventures- 1st through 5th grade Lower School MWEE on the Susquehanna River. Students participate in team building while they learn and experience the Chesapeake Bay through a variety of activities.
Lower School Action Projects
Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat- “Ellen McDaniel Memorial Garden” maintenance. Pollinators and organic gardening.
Middle School Day Trips
North Bay Adventures- 6th Grade Fitness class to North Bay Adventures. Low and high ropes courses, kayaking and swimming. Students explore outdoor adventure activities to improve their health and fitness, with the added benefit of having fun with their classmates.
CBF’s Baltimore Harbor aboard the Snow Goose- 6th grade MWEE. Baltimore Harbor. During Quarter 1, the 6th grade students have been learning about ecosystems. The 6th graders have been examining what can affect the population of an organism within its ecosystem. In addition, the 6th graders have identified examples of producers, consumers and decomposers within an ecosystem as well as understanding the differences between the different types of consumers (herbivores, carnivores and omnivores). Students will participate in a scavenger hunt about the Baltimore Harbor and discuss the effects of industry on the environment.
CBF’s Stanley Norman Skipjack- 7th grade MWEE. Students learn to sail the 135 year old Skipjack, the Stanley Norman. Baltimore Harbor/Annapolis. This CBF trip aligns with 7th grade study of animal adaptation, natural selection, and human impact on environmental resources. Students get first hand experience with the local watershed and develop a connection to it, thus fostering future action to protect the Bay. The experience on the water will be as if we have gone back in time to the period the skipjack was built and used in the Bay for oystering. Students will learn about the history of the Chesapeake Bay Waterman.
CBF’s Arthur Sherwood Center Canoeing- 8th grade MWEE to Arthur Sherwood Center. Combining the resources of a fully equipped research vessel with the hands-on experience of flat water canoes, the Arthur Sherwood program allows students to gain a more complete understanding and appreciation of the ecosystem. This trip is a direct connection to NGSS 8th grade diversity of life and natural selection themes. They will find direct evidence for the importance of genetic variation in a functional and healthy ecosystem. Students will also identify evidence of human impact on the climate and its impact on the abiotic and biotic features of the Chesapeake Bay. Students will use this knowledge to identify and execute and plan to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
Middle School Action Projects
Trout in the Classroom- 8th grade students raise Trout in the Classroom. Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is an environmental education program in which students in 8th grade raise trout from eggs to fry, monitor tank water quality, engage in stream habitat study, learn to appreciate water resources, begin to foster a conservation ethic, grow to understand ecosystems. At the end of the year we release our trout in a state-approved stream Stoney Run in Roland Park, Maryland.
Storm Drain Stenciling- Middle School students learn about the connection between our streets and streams and lead a storm drain art event. This action project is student-focused and includes an introduction to the urban water cycle and all the materials needed to adorn the storm drains in our Old Goucher neighborhood.
Middle School Fitness Healthy Outdoor Activities-Students are planning outdoor activities based on their interests. This program was implemented in our 6th grade after students requested more time outside every day. Activities include hiking, canoeing, golf and tennis. No Child Left Inside!
Air Quality Index Flags-Students look up how polluted the air is on the EPA website raise the appropriate colored flag every day outside of Baltimore Lab School in order to inform our community about the air quality on a daily basis.
High School Day Trips
CBF Snow Goose/Baltimore Harbor- CBF 9th grade MWEE. The workboat Snowgoose provides a unique platform from which participants study the dynamic relationship between the Port of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay’s Patapsco River. Students will be learning about the environment through inquiry and an in depth investigation into the oyster in order to participate with our high school CBF Oyster Gardening program. Students learn about the fragility and the resilience of ecosystems under the pressure of a modern working river.
National Aquarium Animal Rescue Center Class- 9th grade National Aquarium Animal Rescue Center Class, Baltimore City. Performing medical tests and ensuring excellent water quality are essential to caring for the animals at the Aquarium. Students will use microscopes to study blood samples and measure water quality parameters to deduce the causes of illness in various animals at the Animal Care and Rescue Center. Students will also devise a treatment plan based on evidence collected during the lesson. The program will conclude with a tour of the ACRC.
CBF Philip Merrill Center, Annapolis, MD- CBF 10th grade MWEE. Chesapeake Ecology and Sustainable Building Design. Canoeing on Black Walnut Creek. Students will be learning about the environment through inquiry and generating ideas for service learning action projects related to saving the bay. We will also investigate the Philip Merrill Center, a Platinum LEED designed building situated between the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay and Black Walnut creek in Annapolis, Maryland.
CBF Arthur Sherwood Center. CBF 11th grade canoeing trip. Team building through time outdoors exploring the “Capt. John Smith trail”, canoeing and boating. The goal of the Arthur Sherwood Study Center program is to foster an understanding of the role humans play in estuarine ecolo-gy. By studying the various organisms and plants within the creek and the Bay, participants can draw connections between the different life forms in the Bay, as well as identify species adaptations. While at the center, students will explore the tidal marshes of the creek, and catch and identify some of the resident animal life. Through these activities, they will develop an appreciation for the ecosystem and an understanding of how all parts of it are connected—including man’s influence on the Bay. Students will be learning about the environment through inquiry and generating ideas for service learning action projects related to saving the bay.
CBF SkipJack/ Annapolis. 12th grade MWEE aboard the Skipjack, Stanley Norman. Annapolis. This is our 12th grade team building event at the beginning of their senior year, through time outdoors sailing aboard the historic SkipJack, The Stanley Norman. Students enjoy and learn about the environment through inquiry and an in depth investigation into the oyster. This is the final year our seniors participate with CBF Oyster Gardening. Students discuss environmental stewardship when “Mrs. Child is not looking!”
High School 3 Day Away Overnight Leadership Trip
CBF Karen Noonan Center- CBF 3 Day Trip for Student Leaders to Karen Noonan Center. The following are examples of sample topics: History and folklore, Salt marsh exploration, Underwater grasses, Field journals and naturalist news, Crabbing, fishing, and oystering, Weather watch. This experience while at KNC is intended to inspire student leaders to take action when they return home. We use Aldo Leopold’s writings as discussion starters.
High School Action Projects
BLS Watershed Stewards Program/ CBF Student Leadership Affiliate - inspired student leaders and teachers take action when they return home from trips. Students explore issues and advocate for environmental solutions. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation Student Leadership Program combines two of CBF's organizational strengths: education and advocacy. BLS has been honored and recognized for allowing students to realize their connection to the environmental world and empowering them to act on its behalf.
CBF Oyster Gardening- Starting in 2015, BLS high school students have planted 35,000 oysters and counting on the Fort Carroll Oyster Sanctuary Reef in the Patapsco River.
Mr. Trash Wheel/Order of the Wheel missions. High school technology students take the challenge each year and learn how to make small behavior change into lasting and sustainable solutions.
Weed Warriors- High School students work alongside Master Gardener Debbie Swartz learning about invasive plants while doing Stoney Run trail work.
Baltimore Tree Trust/BLS Adopt a Tree program- Students and staff maintain our 350 Old Goucher street trees.
BLS Student Environmental Advocacy Representatives- New in 2020! Inspired students from drama, music and dance environmental advocacy performances, vote on representatives to send to the Student Environmental Conference
BLS Green School Committee- Students with good computer skills, pull together the green school documentation for our 2nd renewal with MAEOE on www.baltimorelabschool.weebly.com
Independent Green Projects- Individual students in all grade levels design projects such as attending the Natural Resource Career Camp, saving sea turtles in Costa Rica and building oyster cages for the oyster gardening program. Students and staff have written and produced a variety of environmental books, games, art, photographs and videos.