programs for High School students
Designed to promote understanding and stewardship of the natural resources in the Potomac River watershed, our programs challenge high school students to dive deep into classroom-relevant materials and to explore the world. We provide more than a dozen robust, standards-aligned science modules to challenge students to do real-world experiments and think critically about how science, environment, and the built world intersect.
Innovative hands-on activities and field investigations
Now Scheduling Spring 2024 Programs!
Bridging the Watershed
Science in Parks
Our team of experienced educators brings our exciting and hands-on science programs to hundreds of local schools in our community.
Location: In schools, green spaces, and national parks in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC.
Science in the Parks (Bridging The Watershed)
We bring science to life in parks across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC. Our acclaimed Bridging The Watershed program, in partnership with the National Park Service, is free to participating teachers and engages students in meaningful watershed educational experiences through hands-on, curriculum-based outdoor studies in national parks and public lands. Students investigate subjects related to watersheds, ecosystems, and human impacts on the environment.
Designed for: 6th – 12th grade.
Time: 3-5 hours during the school day.
The Alice Ferguson Foundation’s team of experienced educators can come to your classroom to run interactive science activities and teach hands-on environmental science. Our programs can engage students on real-world relevant topics such as the impact of waste and trash, how the water cycle works and the habits and life-cycles of the animals around us. Our educators can also visit your classroom before and after a day or overnight field trip to engage students in pre- and post- field trip activities that tie the field trip into the students overall science learning in the classroom.
*We are not currently offering this program option.*
Designed for: 6th – 12th grade.
Time: 1-2 hours during the school day.
Cleanup Your Act
Grades 5 and up
The “Cleanup Your Act” program is a hands-on educational initiative aimed at raising awareness about the environmental impact of human activities on our waterways. In this program, students actively engage in a riverside cleanup, removing trash and debris from the Potomac River shoreline while learning about how trash gets into our waterways and the critical role they play in preserving the health of our rivers and streams. Through this experience, participants gain a deeper understanding of the importance of responsible waste management, water conservation, and environmental stewardship, empowering them to take action and make a positive difference in their communities and beyond.
*This activity (1.5 hours) is eligible for student service learning hours.
Location: Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Campus in Accokeek, Maryland
Length of Program: 4 hours
Time Frame: It is best to conduct this program at low tide or as tide is going out. If possible, try to pick a date where this occurs in the late morning/during the cleanup portion of the program.
Find the Tide Times – NOAA and MD DNR Tide Finder
Use Marshall Hall, MD or Mount Vernon when searching to get the closest tide predictions.
Ideal Amount of Students and Chaperones: While this program can be conducted with larger groups, it is best to limit it to 50 students. Groups are divided into smaller groups of 10-12 and sent to separate cleanup areas along the riverside. Additionally, for every 10-12 students, there should be one educator to guide the cleanup.
Concepts & Takeaways
By the end of this program students will learn:
- Humans have an impact on our waterways.
- Everyone lives in a watershed.
- What happens upstream can affect downstream.
- Trash gets into waterways in a lot of ways.
- The history of the Potomac River and how it is utilized today.
- What leads to greater amounts of erosion and why is erosion not beneficial to the environment and wildlife.
- Various types of materials break down differently when exposed continuously to the elements.
- Things students can do at home (individually or as a family – every action counts) to reduce the amount of trash and pollutants that end up in waterways.
Arrival & Restroom break – 15 minutes
Brief Intro to the property, objective, & safety chat – 10 minutes
Hike or Wagon Ride to riverside – 15-20 minutes
Cleanup – 1.5 hours
Return to main building – 15-20 minutes
Lunch break – 30 minutes
Reflection activities – 60 minutes
Through our Bridging The Watershed program, we are excited to bring you robust online programs that battle screen fatigue with a mixture of engaging activities and live field experiences.
With the guidance of our experienced team of educators, students will:
- learn about animal adaptations
- investigate water quality through the identification of pollution-sensitive macroinvertebrates
- understand and identifying invasive plant species
- find out how runoff and pollution impact their communities
- and more.
Our team of experienced educators help students draw vital connections between the science they are learning and real-world all around them.
What the teachers are saying:
I love the Bridging The Watershed programs. They are well-organized and well-run. I take every opportunity offered to get my students out and connected to their environment.”
Teacher from Washington Lee High School2019
“Fits with the curriculum and a valuable hands-on experience tied to real data and the topics we cover in the classroom.”
Teacher from Mount Vernon High School.2019
“There are so few opportunities like these where high school students get to be involved in field studies that target their age and curriculum.”
Teacher from Gonzaga High School2019
Going Beyond the Textbook
Students discover the magic of science in the world around them through our award-winning environmental education and team-building programs.
Explore Our Programs
Click below to explore our program offerings for schoolchildren Pre-K through 6th grade.
Middle School Students
Click below to explore our program offerings for students 6th grade through 8th grade.