ACPS received a $330,000 grant to help teachers bring hands-on technology and science to students, the school district announced on Monday.
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Training Program grant, awarded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, will allow sixth and seventh grade students to use STEM concepts to delve into issues facing the environment locally, including
the health of the bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Through the grant, students will collect their own data and conduct research to learn about those issues. The students will talk with city officials, government workers, wastewater treatment facility and nature center staff, nonprofits focused on the environment
and local businesses to learn about local issues and select one to address.
After that step, students will design and put into place projects that deal with the environmental issues and how they can apply that knowledge to real-world situations.
The program will first be implemented at Jefferson-Houston School, Francis C. Hammond Middle School and George Washington Middle School and will, eventually, be expanded to Patrick Henry K-8 School.
Four educators will be trained in the program for this school year, 25 educators will be trained in the second year and 45 educators, including special education and English language learning teachers and coaches, will be trained in the third year, according to ACPS.
Mary Breslin, ACPS middle school teacher, will mentor teachers throughout the implementation of the grant. She’s a recipient of the 2013 White House Council on Environmental Quality and EPA Presidential Innovation Award. ACPS will also work with Earth Force, a nonprofit organization, to implement the program.