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Educational Programs

A description of each of our field trip programs is available below. To review our classroom program offerings, please click here. To request an educational outreach presentation from a member of the MES Outreach Staff, please click here. The Port of Baltimore Environmental Education Teacher's Guide can be downloaded here.

Field Trip Programs

Hart-Miller Island

Turtle Recommended Age:
Length: 3 hours
Limited to 20 participants including teachers and chaperones.
Not ADA accessible. Boat Travel Required.

This tour starts at Maryland Environmental Service land base located in eastern Baltimore County. Our crew boat will transport the tour to and from Hart-Miller Island. Once on site, students learn about the history of the island and the dredging process through interactive felt board stories. Next, they board the tour bus and take a driving tour of the island to learn about different points of interest. Students can explore the island first-hand during a short hike (approximately 0.5 miles) in one of the habitat restoration areas and then scavenge the beach at the Hart-Miller Island State Park. Arrangements can be made to have lunch on the island. If time allows, a seining activity at the state park beach or a geocaching activity can be included.

Hart-Miller Island Kids

Cox Creek and Swan Creek Wetlands (Northern Anne Arundel County)
or Masonville (Southern Baltimore City)

Recommended Age: All Ages
Length: 4 hours
Recommended for large groups. Students rotate through learning stations. Extensive walking (approx. 1 mile) on a rocky path.

These sites can accommodate large groups. Students will receive an overview of the Dredged Material Containment Facility (either Cox Creek or Masonville) and then split into groups to participate in rotating learning stations in neighboring restoration sites (Swan Creek Wetland or Masonville Cove). The groups then come back together for lunch and a group activity.

Choose any 4 of the following stations:

Birding
  • Birding: Students are provided with binoculars and observe birds such as bald eagles, osprey, and great egrets that are using our restoration areas as habitat.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 1: 6.B.1.
    Grade 2: 3.F.1, 6.B.1.a
    Grade 4: 6.B.1.
    Grade 5: 6.B.1.b., 6.B.2.
    Grade 6: 6.B.1.c.
    Grade 7: 6.B.1.
    Grade 8: 6.B.1.a.
    Grades 9: 3.5.2.
    Grade 10: 3.5.2.
    Grade 11: 3.5.2.
    Grade 12: 3.5.2.

  • Mitigation: In this activity students learn about the history of the DMCF construction and the associated mitigation projects through an interactive felt board activity.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.
    Grade 4: 2.A.2.
    Grade 9: 3.5.3.
    Grade 10: 3.5.3.
    Grade 11: 3.5.3.
    Grade 12:3.5.3

  • Macroinvertebrate Mayhem: Students learn about water quality by becoming a macroinvertebrate and playing in a survival game.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.
    Grade 4: 6.B.1.
    Grade 5: 6.B.1.b., 6.B.2.
    Grade 6: 6.B.1.c.
    Grade 7: 6.B.1.
    Grade 8: 6.B.1.

    turtle
  • Hot Commodities: This activity combines the concepts of international trade and habitat restoration in Maryland. Students sort import products by participating in a relay race.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 4. 3.C.1.b.d.

  • Osprey Odyssey: Students race around a life-sized board game as they learn about the life cycle of the Osprey.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.
    Grade 5: 6.B.1.a.2.b.c.
    Grade 6: 6.B.1.c.
    Grade 7: 6.B.1.b.
    Grade 8: B.1.b.

  • Terrapin Travels: Students race around a life-sized board game as they learn about the life cycle of the diamondback terrapin.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.
    Grade 5: 6.B.1.a.2.b.c.
    Grade 6: 6.B.1.c.
    Grade 7: 6.B.1.b.
    Grade 8: B.1.b.

    Instructor and Student in Pond
  • Fishing (Cox Creek/Swan Creek only): In this hands-on activity students learn about the different fish that live in and around the restored reef ball habitat in Swan Creek Wetland. MES educators will pull a seine net through the Patapsco River and students will remove the fish from the net once it returns to the beach.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.

  • Water Quality: Students use LaMotte test kits to the determine water quality of Swan Creek wetland or Masonville Cove by testing parameters such as salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.
    Grades 9: 3.5.2.
    Grade 10: 3.5.2.
    Grade 11: 3.5.2.
    Grade 12: 3.5.2.

  • Who Polluted? Human interactions within the watershed are discussed in this hands-on program as students see how everyday actions such as washing a car or dropping a piece of litter affect Swan Creek Wetland or Masonville Cove.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 2: 3.F.1.b., 6.B.1.a.
    Grade 5: 6.B.1.a.2.b.c.
    Grade 6: 6.B.1.c.
    Grade 7: 6.B.1.b.
    Grade 8: B.1.

  • Mad Libs: Students will practice identifying nouns, verbs and adjectives as we tell silly stories about the wildlife at Swan Creek Wetland or Masonville Cove.

  • Nature Journaling: In this activity students will construct a nature journal and spend time observing and reflecting on their experiences at Swan Creek Wetland or Masonville Cove.

  • Students learning about fish
  • Scavenger Hunt: Scour the beach in search of shells, signs of animal homes, and other treasures.

  • Fancy Plants: Students will explore the wetlands and learn about the highly specialized plants that live there.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Science
    Grade 4: 6.B.1.
    Grade 5: 6.B.1.b., 6.B.2.
    Grade 6: 6.B.1.c.
    Grade 7: 6.B.1.
    Grade 8: 6B.1.a.


Group activities:

  • Geocaching: Students will use handheld GPS units to search the wetland for hidden containers. They collect clues and put together a puzzle that will review what they’ve learned on the field trip.
  • Curriculum Topics Covered: Technology
    Grade 3: 3.A.1.a.
    Grade 4: 3.A.1.a., 3.B.1.a.
    Grade 5: 3.A.1.a.
    Grade 6: 3.A.1.a.
    Grade 7: 3.A.1.a.
    Grade 8: 3.A.1.a.

  • Trash cleanup (Cox Creek/Swan Creek only): Students participate in an action project that improves the health of the Swan Creek Wetland by picking up trash along Kembo road.





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