Outdoor and Environmental EducationProfessional Development → Credit Courses

Outdoor Environmental Education Courses for Credit 


OEEP offers many different professional development opportunities to help teachers prepare for teaching classes when they attend programs and field trips, as well as to help them teach environmental science at their own school.


Our environmental education courses for credit are offered on a rotating basis except EE-06 (Confidence Course Instructor Certification) that is usually offered twice a year (fall and spring). The Chesapeake Bay field experience classes are offered every summer. Check PDOOEEP Trainings and Workshops, or calendar for dates and more information.


 EE-02     Teaching Techniques for Outdoor Education

In this course participants will learn about all aspects of the Grade 6 Residential Outdoor Environmental Education Program with emphasis on content, instructional techniques, and management strategies that will help teachers engage students in vigorous learning while teaching in a unique setting. Since the outdoor environment provides an integrated context for learning at Outdoor Ed, participants will learn how to use outdoor explorations as authentic experiences in which to teach MCPS curriculum through well-designed, rigorous lesson plans. Course participants will also be introduced to resources and technology that are available to support teachers to prepare and teach effectively at the residential outdoor education program. 


EE-06     Confidence Course Instructor Certification

This one-credit course provides participants with the skills, philosophy, and background for conducting confidence course activities at the MCPS outdoor education centers.  Instruction in the safe and proper conduct of all activities allows local certification of MCPS staff for insurance purposes.  Participants work in small groups to review proper procedures, processing skills, and progression of activities.  Problem solving and communication skills are emphasized and techniques for ensuring that every student is successful are demonstrated and discussed.  Grade 6 MCPS teachers are the target audience.  If space allows, K-12 teachers may enroll.


EE-07     Basic Subject Matter for Outdoor Education

This three-credit course prepares sixth grade teachers wanting to increase their background knowledge and strategies for providing students with meaningful outdoor and environmental education experiences. It will also increase their capacity to develop, expand, and provide environmental lessons that support effective teaching and learning through the implementation of authentic outdoor learning experiences  


EE-08     Wild School Grounds

This one-credit course is designed to help teachers understand the importance of differing habitats to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the impact from a variety of habitats upon it.  The focus of the course will be to enable teachers to design, plan, and implement the variety of components necessary for developing a habitat on their school grounds. 


Professional Development Opportunities on the Chesapeake Bay:

Environmental Literacy - from the Bay to the School Yard


This professional development course is designed to increase teachers’ knowledge of content, instructional strategies, and specialized equipment involved in the scientific study of the Montgomery County watershed.   The ecology of the Bay, the decline of the Bay’s water quality, and the impact of this decline on the people and economy of the watershed will be explored.  Teachers will investigate various watersheds and examine the connection between land use and water quality.  Each section presents standards-based lessons and assessments, and a variety of possible action research projects that will engage students in meaningful interactions with their local environment.

Participants must pay a $60 nonrefundable fee for meals during a two-night stay at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s (CBF) facility at Port Isobel.  All course fees for participating teachers is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and CBF.  CBF will award three MSDE in-service credits for successful completion of the course.  As an lternative, participants may elect, instead, to receive three graduate credits available for a fee from Mary Baldwin.  Participants are expected to incorporate the knowledge and information that they acquire into model lessons that address existing curricular standards for their respective disciplines.

Each applicant must register on Professional Development Online and Pony or email the attached application to Ms. Courtney Hebert, OEEP Coordinator, Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center (Smith Center).  The Fax number is 301-924-3149.  Each section is limited to 20 participants.

  • The elementary school teacher section, Maryland’s Treasure: the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed (emphasis on food chains, webs, natural resources), is aligned to the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Grade 4 science standards.  Teams of two teachers from the same school are encouraged to attend.  First priority will be given to Grade 4 teachers or other staff members whose current teaching assignment involves science instruction or collaborative instruction with science teachers.
  • The middle school teacher section, Our Water, Our Watershed (emphasis on local water quality and human impact), is aligned to the Grade 6 science curriculum.  Any Grade 6 teacher or teacher involved in the Grade 6 outdoor environmental education program may apply.  Teams of two teachers from the same school are encouraged to participate.
  • A high school teacher section, Our Land and Water:  Environmental Literacy Connects STEM and Social Studies, will provide a Bay experience aligned to the biology and government curricula, and will focus on authentic local issue investigations that connect the two disciplines.