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Index of Projects

Subjects: Mathematics, Science and Environmental Science

Grade Level: 4 - 6

Abstract: Two classes, one in Maryland and the other in Washington, D.C., are working cooperatively on a simulation to determine the health of rivers and streams in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Learner Description/Environment: Students are in fourth and fifth grade gifted and talented math and science classes in public school and in a sixth grade heterogeneous class in parochial school. Both schools are located in areas ranging from middle to upper middle class.

Time Frame: This project will be divided into two phases. Phase I will last approximately six weeks with the classes working approximately one hour a day three to five days a week. Phase II will last the duration of the academic school year.

Rationale: The goal of this simulation is to determine the health of local streams and rivers, assess what geographical areas in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW) need monitoring, and finally to locate schools in these geographical areas and encourage them to join the project. The simulation provides an opportunity for students to direct each other's learning as well as provide an authentic audience for student work. The use of technology is interrelated and depended upon in this simulation as students assume the roles of researcher, scientists, politician and writer. Students will use technology to develop an implementation plan to improve the health of the CBW.

Learner Outcomes:

Alignment with Standards: This project incorporates many of the

Structure of the Learning:

Content: The Chesapeake Bay Watershed (CBW) encompasses five states and Washington, D.C. Many schools in this area have a unit that focuses on the environment and how citizen use and/or abuse impacts the health of the Bay. This simulation is an innovative way to cover this curricula while at the same time emphasizing the engaged learner model, use of multidisciplinary inquiry and investigation skills, and use of the internet as an integral investigative tool.

Process: During Phase I of the simulation, students will begin to investigate stream location as part of the CBW. Through class discussion, meeting with mentors from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and online discussion with partner school, students will begin to question how the health of local streams compare with other streams enptying into the Chesapeake Bay. During Phase II of the simulation, students will use an implementation plan written during Phase I to monitor and determine the health of the Chesapeake Bay.


Assessment: Students will be assessed throughout the simulation based on their online journal entries, letters written to County and State Authorities, protocol written for stream analysis, lists of schools in the CBW area, implementation plan, and final report written for the Chesepeake Bay Foundation.

Project/Unit Evaluation: This project will be evaluated on how successfully the two schools, Atholton Elementary School and Blessed Sacrament School, have developed and implemented a plan to monitor streams in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, Friends of Fermilab, United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, and North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium (NCRTEC) which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).


Author(s): Susan Hurstcalderone (calderone@sysnet.net) School: Blessed Sacrament School, Washington, DC and Mellie Lewis (mlewis@umd5.umd.edu) Atholton Elementary School, Columbia, Maryland
Created: April 18, 1998 - Updated: May 3, 1998
URL /lincon/w98/projects/chesapeake/present.html