NOAA- Frederick County Public Schools BWET Project

Students study watershed health as they conduct a site analysis at Lake Georgette

I-ASC: Investigate, Analyze, Synthesize, Communicate 

Advancing Environmental and Geographic Literacy through Problem-based Learning in the Middle School Grades



Investigative Question: Where should Blandy Experimental Farm build a proposed education center?

Project Design

At the beginning of this projet, all 6th grade students conducted investigations in the field and classroom examining and evaluating potential effects that a building site could have on existing environmental and cultural resources at Blandy. At the end of the school year, teacher-selected groups of students presented their proposals before the Foundation of the State Arboretum Board.  After our first year, students at three of the four middle schools examined land management and human activity impacts at their schools.

Strategies and Logistics 

Blandy and Frederick County Public Schools educators used a multi-disciplinary, problem-based learning (PBL) approach to guide 1000 6th grade students through the problem-solving process.  

Students visited Blandy twice each school year (fall and spring) to assess environmental and historic/cultural resources and the potential effects that the development of a building site could have on these resources. Each field investigation day was preceded and followed by work in core content classes. Three of the middle schools applied the skills learned at Blandy to examine human activity impacts at their schools.

To learn more about this project, visit the Bay Backpack program

This project was funded by the NOAA B-WET Program, Award # NA14NMF4570265