Middle & High School Field Trips

Our field-based education programs are built around Maryland's Environmental Literacy standards. The programs are designed to give students first hand experience in inquiry-based investigation and scientific research to broaden their understanding of scientific concepts. Many programs incorporate citizen science that is being carried out at the Sanctuary.

Program Descriptions:
American Indian Plant Exploration
Grades 6-12.   Duration 1.5 hours
Hike the trails of the forest and wetlands with a naturalist to learn about plants and animals the Piscataway tribe collected for food, medicinal, and technological purposes. Depending on seasonal availability, participants will be encouraged to smell, touch, and possibly taste a variety of plants.
NGSS Alignment: MS-LS2-1, HS-ESS3-1

Forest Succession Survey
Grades 9-12.  Duration: 4 hours

Students will learn forest ecology concepts and be introduced to research methods and equipment used to survey forest.  Two plots will be surveyed.  Students will use their data to create graphs and to answer questions about forest succession and health.
NGSS Alignment: HS-LS4-5

Life of the Forest
Grades K - 6.  Duration: 1.5 hours

Hike the trails with a naturalist to learn about the diverse plant and animal life in the forest.  We will investigate the layers of the forest through hands-on activities.  We will dig in the soil, roll logs, match tree leaves, observe wildlife and learn the value of forests.
NGSS Alignment: 

Plankton Investigation
Grades 8-12.  Duration: 4 hours
Collect water samples and discover the life of plankton while looking for specimens under the microscope.  Students will perform water quality, receive an introduction to using a microscope, and record plankton data.
NGSS Alignment: MS-LS2-4, HS-LS4-5

Pollinators and Plants
Grades 6-8.  Duration 3 hours
Discover amazing adaptations of both plants and invertebrates living in the butterfly garden.  Students will follow protocol to collect and record species found in this small but diverse habitat.  Compare and discuss the wildlife diversity in the meadow and forest.  *This program is held at the Glendening Nature Preserve.
NGSS Alignment: 

Pond Exploration (Spring only)
Grades K - 8.  Duration: 2 hours
Grab a net!  We will visit a pond and find animals that call it home.  Learn about amphibian life cycles and adaptations while identifying the animals caught from the pond.
NGSS Alignment: MS-LS1-5

Stream Ecology and Survey
Grades 9-12.  Duration: 4 hours
Collect physical, chemical, and biological data on a stream.  Learn how these three components interact when assessing stream health.  Students will perform water quality testing and collect macroinvertebrates for identification.

NGSS Alignment: HS-LS4-5

Watersheds and Water Quality
Grades 6-12.  Duration: 4 hours
Investigate water quality through hands-on testing.  Compare the results from different sites and discuss human impacts on the environment.  Students will be required to follow protocol, use scientific equipment, record data, use a map, and interpret data.
NGSS Alignment: 
MS-ESS2-4, HS-ESS2-5 

Wetland Ecology
All grades.  Duration:  1.5 hours

Discover the plants and animals of Jug Bay's freshwater tidal wetlands. We'll discuss the value of wetlands and their many functions. Learn about the plant and animal adaptations that allow wildlife to call the wetlands home. 
NGSS Alignment: MS-LS1-4HS-LS2-6

Wetland Ecology by Canoe (May-October)*
Grades 8-12.  Duration: 4 hours
Paddle the Patuxent River for a close look at the wetlands.  Students will discover the plants and animals of the Jug Bay Wetlands while discussing human impacts on water quality and ecosystem health.  Water quality testing during the canoe trip is an optional additional to the program. * Price and class limit can be found here.  Some scholarships are available.  Contact the education coordinator for more information.

NGSS Alignment: MS-LS1-4HS-LS2-6

Helping Hands for Healthy Habitats
All grades. Duration: 1 hour

Students will give back to the Sanctuary by completing a stewardship project as a class. Stewardship projects vary seasonally; a typical project would entail pulling invasive plants around the Sanctuary. Contact the education coordinator for more information.
NGSS Alignment: 
MS-ESS3-4, HS-LS2-7


Student Research Opportunities:
 Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary is a unique location for research.  Interested students should contact the Education Coordinator with developed proposals for research.  Equipment and staff guidance are available to students.

Programs can be customized to meet your curriculum requirements.  Program durations may vary based on group size and learning objectives requested by teacher.

Program Logistics:

  • Cost $3.00 per student; Minimum of 10 students or $30/visit.  One adult (teacher or chaperone) is admitted free of charge for every 10 students. Additional chaperones are charged the same amount as the students. 
  • Bus drivers receive complimentary admission.
  • Maximum group size: 50 students, larger groups must come on multiple days
  • Programs are available in the fall (September-November) or spring (March-June).
  • Programs are offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.
  • Programs are a 2 (minimum) to 4 (maximum) hours in total duration.  Program duration listed above includes a 30 minute lunch break.
  • All programs are outdoors: rain or shine.  Dress appropriately!
  • Bus transportation funding available through the Friends of Jug Bay. Please  submit a letter of request explaining your need for the bus scholarship along with a rough cost estimate with your completed application.

Program Reservations:

  • Download and complete the 2017 Spring Field Trip Application (click the button above).  Field trips will be scheduled as they are received.
  • The point of contact will be contacted by a Sanctuary staff member to confirm the program date and to discuss program details.
  • A confirmation packet including directions will be sent to the point of contact.

Please note:  
** We are located in southern Anne Arundel County.  Please follow the directions sent in the confirmation packet.  Many GPS systems do not work with our address!

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