Program fees for a four-hour program range from $8 to $15 per student. Teachers and chaperones are free. For more information or to schedule an environmental education program, contact Assistant Director Jenny Houghton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-634-2847. Don’t see a program that meets your needs? Programs can be specially designed upon request.
EARLY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Children will explore the wiggly world of worms and learn how worms help plants grow. Activities will include a visit to the Funshine Garden, a scavenger hunt, digging for worms, and a wiggly worm song. Students will help plant seeds and make a craft to take home. This program is aligned with MSDE science standard LS3A1a–d.
Home for a Bunny
In this exciting outdoor program, students will create models and conduct hands-on investigations to explore the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals and their habitats. Activities include using dip nets in the Arboretum's wetland for an up-close look at wetland food chains, digging for worms in the Play Garden, scoping out rabbit burrows in the meadow, and hunting for squirrels and acorns along shady woodland paths (NGSS K-ESS3-1).
Growing Up Green
Students will compare and contrast the unique and diverse life cycles of four plants and animals through hands-on investigation. Activities include using dip nets and buckets in the Arboretum’s wetland to see what frogs look like at each stage of the life cycle, searching for caterpillars and eggs in the butterfly garden, and exploring the Arboretum’s woodlands in a tree life cycle scavenger hunt. In culmination, students will create models to describe the similarities and differences among plant and animal life cycles (NGSS 3-LS1-1).
ELEMENTARY & MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS
Trees and Me
Students will investigate how the parts of a tree work together in a "build a tree" activity, explore how humans have benefited from trees over time, use magnifying glasses to examine and categorize leaves, and investigate the impact of daylight on plant growth and development. As part of the learning experience, they'll also use tree materials to design a solution to a human problem (NGSS 1-LS1-1).
Birds, Bees, and Dandelion Seeds
How do plants and animals interact to create thriving, diverse habitats? Students will use science skills to match pollinators with their plants, explore the four methods of seed dispersal in the classroom and outside, and observe plants and animals in the Arboretum’s wetland and forest habitats. They’ll also use their imaginations to create models of animal pollinators (NGSS 2-LS2-2., 2-LS4-1).
Water, Water, Everywhere
Students will investigate the limited amount of water available for human use and explore the complex factors affecting the water cycle through an environmental game. After making hypotheses about the health of the water in the Arboretum’s wetland, students will conduct water sampling and analyze the data they collect. They’ll also create model watersheds to examine human impact on the Chesapeake Bay and learn how the Arboretum uses native plants to protect waterways (NGSS 5-ESS2-2-2, NGSS 5-ESS3-1).
Tree and Watershed Investigations (TWIG)
In this “hands dirty, feet wet” program, students will learn how trees are vital to healthy watersheds. They’ll create models to demonstrate the effects of sediment on Chesapeake Bay organisms, measure temperature and turbidity in a stream, search for macroinvertebrates to determine water quality, and conduct experiments to determine infiltration and pollution rates. Through their field experience, students will examine how their personal and collective actions can help protect and restore sustainable forests and healthy watersheds. (MSDE Environmental Literacy Standards 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8.)
HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS
What factors have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century? How will future climate change impact Maryland’s Eastern Shore? What is the role of trees in reducing global warming? In this hands-on exploration of climate change, students will act out the cycling of carbon among the hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and geosphere. They’ll create models to illustrate the greenhouse effect, collect information to determine their own carbon footprint, and study tree rings to make predictions about climate change (NGSS HSESS2-6, HS-ESS3-5).
Applied Forestry for Environmental Science Students
Students will explore the ecosystem services provided by trees, including nutrient cycling, carbon storage, clean water, temperature regulation, and oxygen. After a native plant walk led by a docent naturalist, they’ll monitor forest health by setting up a .1 acre study plot in the Arboretum’s forest. Students will work in groups to assess the plot for diversity, tree and crown condition, lichen abundance, regeneration, wildlife, and soil quality. Data will be entered into an Arboretum database (MSDE Science Standards Goal 1: Skills and Processes, Indicator 1.3.1 and Goal 6: Environmental Science, Indicators 6.1.1, 6.2.2, and 6.3.4).