" BES Project Abstracts 2005
Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2005 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Highlighting Parks & People's Environmental Education Program at Gilmor Edison Elementary
Rachel Doebber
Abstract: BES ANNUAL MEETING: PRESENTATION ABSTRACT Highlighting Environmental Education at Gilmor Edison Elementary This spring, Parks & People conducted environmental education with 6th grade science classes at Gilmor Edison Elementary School in West Baltimore. Weekly environmental education classes focused on improving water quality as part of the Water Quality Improvement Project for Baltimore City Public Schools located within Watershed 263. Together with the school staff, Parks & People developed a curriculum that exposed students to basic concepts in watershed ecology and prepared them for becoming future stewards of the environment. Hands-on activities, led by Parks & People staff, enlightened students on how storm water travels through urban environments, eventually ending up in waterways that lead to the Chesapeake Bay. Using a three-dimensional watershed model, students simulated potential effects of pollution and trash on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Students went on field trips to the outfall for Watershed 263 to observe the outflow of trash and pollutants into the Middle Branch and to the Baltimore City Public Works Museum to learn about Baltimore City’s historic urban storm drain system. During the latter part of the program, students identified storm drains around their school and surveyed existing conditions around each drain. They went on to create their own storm drain stencil – “Trash Kills Crabs” – they cleaned out the drains and later stenciled 16 of them. To conclude the program at Gilmor Edison, students created an informational video featuring skits about pollution, storm water runoff and improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Through unique educational experiences, provided by Parks & People, students at Gilmor Edison Elementary realized their important role in improving urban ecosystems.