Explore and Restore Your School Shed

Child learning what microorganisms live in the stream, courtest of VA State Parks staff,   WikimediaCommonsExplore and Restore Your SchoolShed

Students across the state are gearing up to take action to care for Maryland’s streams, as a key part of Bay restoration. Approximately 110 teachers representing schools in 22 counties across Maryland are participating in this year’s “Explore and Restore your SchoolShed” initiative.

Aligned with the Governor’s vision of schools using their local streams as outdoor classrooms, teachers will engage their students in studying the health of their streams, and then take action to help make improvements over time. By investigating real-world, local environmental issues, and making informed decisions about how to affect them, schools are directly in line with Maryland’s environmental literacy graduation requirement, which has been in place since 2011.

Explore and Restore Your Schoolshed New Teacher Workshops!

Registration is now open!

Do you want to get your students outside to a local stream for some challenging and relevant science and action projects? Grab your boots and join us for a free one-day professional development that emphasizes outdoor learning to help meet new Environmental Literacy, STEM, and Next Generation Science Standards.

Elementary version offered August 6 (Full), and October 1 (Full); Secondary version offered August 20 (Full), and October 10 (Full). Click here to read more.

What exactly are schools doing for this initiative?

Participating schools have been examining their streams and making plans for continued learning, stream monitoring and stewardship projects. See what students are doing and what teachers are saying. Check out the video highlight below of the kickoff of the Schoolshed initiative, September 2013, with Governor O’Malley and 4th- and 5th-grade students from J.C. Parks Elementary in Charles County.

How do I get involved?

It is easy to “Explore and Restore.” With a stream within walking distance of most schools in our state, a school can readily participate and there are investigative activities appropriate for all grade levels.

“Explore and Restore” is a hands-on, practical approach to learning that applies core skills in science, technology, engineering, math, reading, social studies and more, contributing to career readiness and good citizenship. Outdoor learning helps children develop a love of nature and an understanding of our role in affecting it, forming the foundation for them to take responsibility as stewards.

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Want to learn how to open your school’s doors to helping your local stream?

Review the resources provided for teachers below and find a stream on the StreamHealth website.

Resources for Teachers

Are you helping to monitor and restore Maryland’s streams?

Join the conversation on Twitter using #MDHealthyStream.