20 June 2012

Another Year of BPESL Workshops Comes to an End

The Baltimore Partnership for Environmental Science Literacy (BPESL) has completed another year-long Institute working with middle and high school science teachers from Baltimore City and Baltimore County.  The program began in the summer of 2011 with an 8-day intensive Institute where teachers were immersed in learning about carbon, water, biodiversity, citizenship practices, and pedagogical techniques to improve attention to student thinking in the classroom.  The summer program was followed by five Saturday workshops during the 2011-2012 school year.  Topics included:  Microbes, Disease Ecology, Environmental Justice, Phenology and Urban Farming.

The BPESL team would like to thank all participating teachers for their enthusiasm and involvement in the program.  We also wish the best of luck and a fond farewell to two of our exiting graduate students:  Tamara Newcomer (University of Maryland, College Park) and Julie Baynard (Towson University).  We look forward to our next Institute set to begin on June 25th.

Contributed by BES Ecology Education Program Leader Bess Caplan

Gunpowder Days at Hereford Middle School

The Baltimore Partnership for Environmental Science Literacy (BPESL) held a learning station at Hereford Middle School’s annual Gunpowder Days held at Gunpowder Falls State Park in Parkton, Maryland on May 31, 2012.  Julie Baynard and Natalie Mollett, both BPESL graduate students from Towson University, led a leaf pack activity for eighth grade students.  Students dissected and investigated stream leaf packs that had been placed in the adjacent Gunpowder Falls for the previous month.  Students also dissected leaf packs that had been in Towson Run, located on the Towson University campus.  Macroinvertebrates were found living in all the leaf packs and were identified by students using ID cards and sorting sheets.  By assessing and comparing the species of macroinvertebrates living in both streams, students discovered that Gunpowder Falls supports more pollution-sensitive species of macroinvertebrates than Towson Run.   

Contributed by BES Ecology Education Program Leader Bess Caplan