Chesapeake Challenge

6th-8th Grade Science

Imagine being stranded in the woods with a nearby stream as your only source of water. Would you drink the water? There are many hidden pollutants in our natural water sources that can have a negative impact on your health. Luckily with the advancement in filtration methods, those pollutants can be removed to create safe drinking water. In this STEM challenge, participants will build their own filter and then test its efficiency at removing pollutants from the water. Based upon their results, participants will redesign to improve their filters. Connections will be made to the importance of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and the human impacts within its watershed. Room requirements: Lab tables, sinks, and running water.


Earth vs Mars - A Planetary Workshop

6th-12th Grade Science; Earth Science

Come explore the relationships between Earth and our closest neighbor in the solar system, Mars. We will discuss the atmosphere and geology of Earth and Mars and use remote satellite images to compare and contrast the physical processes that occur on these planets. Additionally, we will classify images of Earth and Mars by observing the physical features in each image. Digital resources for participants to use in the classroom will be shared.


Geocaching Using GPS Units or Mobile Devices

6th-12th Grade Science; Earth Science; Environmental Science; AP Environmental Science; Ecology; Oceanography

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants will navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at the location. Discover the different types of geocaches and how to use them with your students in this treasure filled workshop!


Meaningful Watershed Schoolyard Experiences

6th-12th Grade Science

Prepare for a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) with your students by engaging in hands-on activities including: land use mapping, water chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, bathymetric profiles, flow rate of lentic and lotic ecosystems. Learn how you can conduct a MWEE at your school site. An extended field study option at the James River Park System including an ecology study at Reedy Creek is also available.


Planet Hunters - The Search for Exoplanets NEW

6th-12th Grade Science

Why are astronomers looking for planets around other stars? In this workshop, we will discuss exoplanets and why they’re so fascinating to the scientific community. You’ll learn why it’s so difficult to observe exoplanets directly and find out about the different methods for discovering new exoplanets indirectly. We will discuss concepts behind gravitational methods, including astrometry, the Doppler method, and an innovative technique for measuring tiny changes in a star’s light intensity. Plus, you’ll find out about an exciting new way to observe exoplanets by measuring their infrared radiation. Together, we will work through labs that you can share with your “planet hunters” in 6th-12th grade science classrooms.


Tornado Alley

Earth Science

Tornado Alley offers an exciting preview of our new MSiC classroom weather lesson which focuses on exploring severe weather. During this session, participants will learn more about the nature of severe weather phenomena - primarily thunderstorms and tornadoes. Jump right in and experience firsthand how scientists work together to collect data, make observations, and draw conclusions about severe weather events. Take on the role of virtual storm chasers, analyzing a weather dataset to determine if a supercell thunderstorm is likely to “drop” a tornado. Technology Requirements: Internet access for instructor’s computer.


For more information:

Please contact Daphne Schmidt (343-6525, ext. 246) or Tawana Gilyard (343-6525, ext. 221).