K-12 Home

K-12 Programs

Creeks, Creatures,& Canopies

Estuary Chesapeake

Wetland Ecology Program

Java History Trail

High School Programs



SERC offers a wide range of education programs to communicate scientific findings to K-12 students and teachers, college students and the general public. With on-site programs and distance learning, SERC brings hands-on science experiences to students in the Maryland, Virginia, and DC area, as well as across the nation and even the world.

Through experiential programs in various ecosystems, students and teachers increase their understanding of scientific research, the environment, and how human activities influence ecosystems.

                        | On-site Programs | Teacher Workshops |
                             | Distance Learning | Other Education Resources |

On-site K-12 Education Programs
Exploring Nature
What was your earliest nature experience? In Exploring Nature, K-3 students learn about nature in estuaries, wetlands, and forests by exploring the environment in a directed, educational way. Teachers can pick their choice from 5 activities that all come with instructions and materials ready to use.
Grades K-3, 15-100 students.
Grades K- 3
Estuary Chesapeake
Catch your own fish and blue crabs, look at microscopic plants, and investigate who lives in an oyster reef community with this hands-on science exploration. Students learn about the biotic and abiotic components of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem at a series of five stations.
Grades 4-6, up to 90 students
Grades 4 - 6
Java History Trail
Take a self-guided trip into the past with this 1.3- mile trail through forest and wetland. The trip will take you from the time that the Piscataway Indians traveled through this area to the present situation. Panels and artifacts along the trail describe and show the history. Education activities are available. This program is often combined with Estuary Chesapeake for a full-day program for a large group.

The Java History Trail is also available as a public program.
All ages
Wetland Ecology Program
Explore and enjoy the wetlands as you never have before. Students will navigate and sample the Muddy Creek and surrounding salt-water marsh by canoe, then continue their exploration on land. Students will learn about the function of wetlands and get a close look at wetland wildlife, forested riverbanks, and SERC research sites.
Grades 6 and up. Up to 45 students.
Grades 6 and up

High School Environmental Science Program

In partnership with NOAA, SERC offers hands on field investigations of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to explore environmental science topics.  Programs ranging from single day field experiences to semester long independent research projects emphasize data collection and synthesis as well as development of research skills.

Grades 9 - 12
Summer Camp
Registration is open for SERC Summer Camp 2012. Register online here. Check out the announcement on the main page under hot topics.
Entering Grades 1-11

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Teacher Development Workshops Target audience
SERC's Teacher Development Workshops help educators incorporate the latest information related to SERC research into their curriculum. Gain an in-depth knowledge of SERC research and of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and its connection to the Bay's watershed through activities led by SERC education and research staff. Workshops can also address developing and implementing meaningful outdoor experiences related to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. K-12 Teachers

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Distance Learning Programs
Target audience
Bring Smithsonian science to your classroom with video conferences and Electronic Field Trips through SERC's Distance Learning Program. K-12
(College-level programs available on request)

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Other Education Resources Target audience
Blue Crab Online Resource
Meet the blue crab and explore its anatomy, life cycle, and behavior with this online resource. The blue crab is an important player in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and a major focus of some SERC research programs.
All ages; activities for Grades 1-6

It's All in the Watershed
Explore your ecological home with this collection of stories about life and living in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. It's All in the Watershed is a resource for students, educators, and anyone who lives in this special part of the world or is interested in learning about its natural resources, history, special places and people.

All ages

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