Outdoor Environmental Education Programs

Courses and Workshops

Spring 2020


Register for all courses on PDO.

Teachers of sixth grade residential Outdoor Environmental Education will have priority.


Outdoor Education Organizer Meeting; Course #87827 Section # 113926

Tuesday, January 7, 2020 4:00–6:00 p.m.

Participants:  Local School Outdoor Education Organizers from every school attending the residential program in the second semester (February 2020–June 2020)

Participants will review new policies and procedures, as well as be introduced to significant changes in core lessons for the 2019–2020 residential program.  New local school organizers are encouraged to stay for 30 minutes after the general meeting for additional guidance and support.


Salary Day: Food Web (Predator/Prey); Course # 87824

Thursday, March 19, 2020 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  (Section 113927)        

Voluntary workshop for teachers who are interested in teaching the predator/prey simulation lesson that is used

during the residential outdoor education experience for sixth grade students. The simulation supports the populations and diversity concepts in the sixth grade science curriculum and provides students with an engaging and thought-provoking glimpse into how food webs work and function. Teachers who complete this workshop will be able to conduct the simulation during their students' sixth grade residential experience. The workshop will focus on organizing the experience for maximum educational value and safety.


Salary Day: Stream Study or Pond Study Workshop; Course # 87828

Thursday, March 19, 2020 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.  (Section 113928)                  

Voluntary workshop for teachers who are interested in conducting a stream study with their students. This workshop will focus on techniques for conducting a macro invertebrate survey, chemical analysis, and stream buffer analysis of a local stream in order to determine the health of the local watershed. Food web and food chain concepts will be reinforced through identification of the organisms in a stream ecosystem. The environmental impact of various pollutants will be discussed.


Salary Day: Treasure Earth: Geocaching Workshop; Course # 87812

Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:00 – 7:00 p.m.       Section # 113929

For teachers of 6th grade Outdoor Environmental Education who are interested in teaching geocaching during the residential outdoor education experience.  Students will learn to use GPS units along with a map and compass to find hidden tasks to complete.  Students can complete a set of specific STEM tasks or the tasks can be related to your content area.




Salary Day: Exploring the Watershed

Course # 87813, Section # 113930

Thursday, March 19, 2020   4:00–7:00 p.m.

Voluntary workshop for teachers who will be teaching Exploring the Watershed. We will begin the class with a review of using a map and compass. Each outdoor education site has a course that marks special features of our local watershed or possible sites for settlement. Teachers who complete this workshop will be able to conduct a structured exploration of the watershed during their students' sixth grade residential experience. The workshop will focus on organizing the experience for maximum educational value and safety.


Confidence Course Re-Certification; Course # 87820, Section # 113931

Thursday, March 26, 2020   4:00–7:00 p.m.

In order to maintain the ability to use the confidence course for instruction, staff members need to complete a three-hour re-certification course every three years.  Instructors certified in, or prior to, Spring 2017, are due for re-certification (You may check your completion date on your transcript in PDO).  This voluntary course is for MCPS Outdoor Environmental Education certification only and is available only to those who have taken EE-06 Confidence Course training.



Salary Day: Student Service Learning at Outdoor Ed

Course # 87814, Section # 113932

Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:00-7:00 p.m.

This voluntary workshop will enable Grade 6 teachers to facilitate student completion of the Grade 6 student service learning (SSL) requirement during the three-day Outdoor Environmental Education Residential Program.  Instructors will model teaching new SSL lessons using hands-on experiences and will supply teachers with lesson templates and resources.


EE-06 Confidence Course Instructor’s Workshop   

Tentatively planned for June 16 and June 17, 2020

This 1-credit CPD course is designed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting confidence course activities at all of the outdoor education sites. It is designed to allow participants to be involved in small group activities that demonstrate the proper procedures, processing, and safety requirements for the appropriate and successful use of the confidence course. In addition, group interaction, communication, and cooperation are emphasized, as well as overall team building and problem-solving skills. Completion of this course is required for any staff intending to utilize the confidence course with adults or children. Sign up will be available in April.


EE-02 Teaching Techniques for Outdoor Environmental Education;

 (Thursdays 4 pm – 7pm - 2/20, 2/27, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30, 5/7, 5/14 and Friday, March 20 from 6-10 pm and Saturday, March 21 from 8 am – 1pm)

In this 3 credit CPD 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 help teachers prepare and teach effectively at the residential outdoor environmental education program. Full attendance is required.