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Think Chesapeake Bay

Think Chesapeake Bay
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Lesson Plans

Learning to Save the Chesapeake Bay -- Students will learn about the issues surrounding keeping the Chesapeake Bay clean and safe. They will conduct research to identify potential solutions for “saving the bay” and compile their findings in the form of a storybook for young people.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 8

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Activities - written for Bayville Online Field Trip

Bay Beautiful: An Introduction to the Chesapeake Bay  -- Students will engage in an online scavenger hunt about the Chesapeake Bay, exploring general background information as well as current problems now facing the Bay.
Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

BayLab Part 1: What's Killing the SAV?  -- What's been killing the Bay grasses -- collectively known as SAV -- in the Chesapeake Bay over the last several decades?
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

BayLab Part 2: Let's Experiment!  -- Scientists have offered five convincing hypotheses about what's been killing the Bay grasses -- collectively known as SAV -- in the Chesapeake Bay over the last several decades.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

BayQuest: Exploring Ecosystems  -- Put on your explorer's hat! You are about to embark on an adventurous journey, traveling by kayak and skipjack through the Chesapeake Bay in search of hidden plants and animals.
Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7

Champs of the Chesapeake  -- Do your students eat organic foods? Do they ride their bikes instead of travel by car? If so, they are helping the Chesapeake Bay and might not even know it!
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

Development and the Nature of the Water Cycle  -- What impact does urban or suburban development have on the water cycle? In this activity, students will use the Bayville interactive, H20hNo! to explore how the water cycle works and learn how people can have a tremendous effect on the quality of water.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

Exploring the Chesapeake (Chesepiooc)  -- Before the colonists arrived in Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay was called Chesepiooc by the Native American tribes in the area.
Subject(s): Social Studies
Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Mega Mall Debate: Environment v. Economic Development  -- What impact can a proposed mega mall have on a suburban town's local river? Why are residents in the town engaging in a hot debate about this new mall?
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

Monsters in the Bay?  -- What's lurking beneath the surface of the Chesapeake Bay? Is it an unidentified sea monster that hasn't yet been discovered? Are people possibly mistaking another animal such as a manatee or sturgeon for a sea monster?
Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

Nutrients and the Bay  -- Because of excess nutrients, the waters of the Chesapeake Bay have become increasingly polluted and murky.
Subject(s): Language Arts, Science
Grade Level(s): 6, 7, 8

What's the Deal? What Eats What in the Bay, and Why is This Important?  -- What’s happening to organisms in the Bay, and does it even make a difference? Does it matter if some creatures die off and new ones come to town?
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7

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Video Clips

 Bay Grasses Part One (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Explore the vital role of bay grasses in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chasing the Past (RealOne) or (Windows Media) -- Skipjacks, sailing boats which dredge for oysters, are becoming a thing of the past.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chesapeake Bay (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- In this clip, learn about creatures that live in the Chesapeake Bay and why clean water is important for their existence.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chesapeake Past Chesapeake Future Part 1 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- The Chesapeake Bay was much different four hundred years ago when John Smith first explored the Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chesapeake Past Chesapeake Future Part 2 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Nitrogen and phosphorus caused by population growth have caused low oxygen conditions in the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chesapeake Past Chesapeake Future Part 3 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- The cause of the decline of the Chesapeake Bay can be traced to the rivers and creeks of Maryland and Virginia.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chesapeake Past Chesapeake Future Part 4 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Many farmers are involved in stream restoration to change environmental impacts on the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Chesapeake Past Chesapeake Future Part 5 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Core sediment can be used to investigate historical changes in the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Gypsy Moths and the Chesapeake Bay (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Gypsy moths have been destroying Maryland forests for decades, but only recently have they been linked to the nitrogen surplus in the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 History of the Bay (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Learn how pollution has caused the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem to deteriorate over the last three centuries and how people are fighting to restore it.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Hope at the Edge Part 1 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Smith Island is home to a declining group of watermen who make their living from the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Hope at the Edge Part 2 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Smith Island is home to a declining group of watermen who make their living from the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Hope at the Edge Part 3 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Smith Island is home to a declining group of watermen who make their living from the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Hope at the Edge Part 4 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Smith Island is home to a declining group of watermen who make their living from the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 In Green Obscurity (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Bay grass is the collective term for a variety of vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Invasive Beauties (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Mute swans, an invasive species, feed on bay grass negatively impacting the Chesapeake Bay.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 King Neptune’s Steed -- One species of seahorse makes its home in the Chesapeake Bay. Scientists are attempting to solve the puzzle of this extraordinary creature.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Last Stand at Shady Side (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- The town of Shady Side has long been home to watermen of the Chesapeake Bay. However, the watermen’s era in Shady Side may be coming to an end.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Legacy on Winters Bay Part 1 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- J. R. Gross is an oysterman in Shady Side, Maryland. It’s a rough way to make a living, but it’s an honored family tradition.
Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Legacy on Winters Bay Part 2 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- Tonging for oysters is no easy job. It’s physically challenging, and there just aren’t as many oysters now as there have been in the past.
Subject(s): Science, Social Studies
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Life in the Breakers (RealVideo) or (Windows Media) -- To understand the decline in the common Bluefish population better, a team of researchers is studying this toothy, feisty finfish and its life in the Chesapeake Bay and the breakers of the Atlantic Ocean.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Nutria: The Root of It All (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- In this episode of Outdoors Maryland learn how nutria, a non-native invasive species has destroyed the marshes of Black Bottom River in Dorchester County.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Oyster Diseases (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- A little over a hundred years ago, watermen were pulling 15 million bushes of oysters out of the Chesapeake Bay, and today they pull out around 2 million bushels.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Oyster Issue (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- As the debate on whether or not to introduce the Asian-Oyster into the Chesapeake Bay continues, a Maryland environmental consultant has begun the process of getting the Bay's native oyster on the federal Endangered Species list.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 Paddling to Paradise (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- James Island is ideal for beginning kayakers.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 The Ancient Bay Pt. 1 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- The Chesapeake Bay is the United States' largest estuary created by the last Ice Age.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 The Ancient Bay Pt. 2 (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- The Chesapeake Bay is the United States' largest estuary created by the last Ice Age.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 The Shell Game: Diamondback Terrapin (RealVideo) or (Windows Media)  -- The diamondback terrapin, Maryland’s state reptile, faces an uncertain future.
Subject(s): Science
Grade Level(s): Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Tech Tours

What's in Your Water? -- This TechTour guides students through a learning experience in which they investigate the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay with an emphasis on plants and animals.
Subject(s): Language Arts, Science

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MPT Programs

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Spanning the Bay
April 11 & 16 at 9 pm
Explore the far-reaching effects the Chesapeake Bay Bridge has had on everything from commerce to commuting. It helped fuel the growth of the tourism industry, transforming tiny beachside resorts like Ocean City into crowded summertime destinations. Come along for an exciting look back at the monumental creation of the Bay Bridge!

Who Killed Crassostrea Virginica: The Fall & Rise of Chesapeake Bay Oysters
April 10 at 10 pm
This fresh perspective examines conflicting claims about the calamities that struck down some of the world's richest oyster grounds. Three particular groups come to the forefront -- the watermen who fish the oysters, oyster farmers who grow them and scientists who study them. Recent research and long-forgotten historical archives shed light on and re-evaluate the groups' roles.

Chesapeake Stories II
April 12 at 8 pm
Join adventurous paddlers as they explore Chesapeake backwaters, pitch their tents on windswept beaches, grill fresh-caught rock fish and brainstorm about saving and savoring the bay. Follow watercolor artist Marc Castelli as he captures the magic of light on waves or weathered boats and the hardships and hopes of Chesapeake watermen. Along salty shorelines, discover the many kinds of crabs you won't find in a crab cake.

Growing Up on Tilghman
April 12 at 8:30 pm
Not so long ago, Tilghman's Island was a unique Chesapeake waterman's community with few amenities and no fences - where children roamed freely and families bonded together to wrest a living from the bountiful but challenging bay. See what it was like to live in a community that valued hard work, ingenuity, good humor and the natural world. Accompanied by captivating images from today and years gone by, island residents recall their unique heritage and discuss the challenges of sharing it with future generations.

Rivers of Worry
April 13 at 8 pm
Are contaminants polluting our water before it gets to the Chesapeake Bay? The scenic Severn River on the bay's western shore is a typical urban-suburban waterway. Many enjoy the lifestyle -- fishing, boating and swimming. But, because of high fecal bacteria counts, officials advise staying out of the water for two days after rain. On the Eastern Shore, water samples show a range of natural and human-caused contaminants. Most are found only in trace amounts, but little is known about the possible health effects of their accumulation or interaction. Is the water safe for human health?

Brewed on the Bay: Craft Beers of Maryland
Aprl 14 at 8:30 pm
Join Al Spoler, local food aficionado and cohost of WYPR's Cellar Notes, as he takes us on a tour of the Chesapeake region's microbreweries. Explore Maryland's rarely considered beer traditions and history in a thirst-quenching travelogue of our area.

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Purchase a Poster

Information about the Chesapeake Bay Poster will be available soon.

More information

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U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program