DNR Sponsors Raising Horseshoe Crabs In The Classroom Workshop For Teachers

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DNR Sponsors Raising Horseshoe Crabs In The Classroom Workshop For Teachers ANNAPOLIS — On Wed., June 25, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hosted a one-day workshop to train teachers on Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom environmental educational curriculum. Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom offers students the opportunity to better understand the scientific process through hands-on data collection and monitoring of horseshoe crabs. Students also learn about the important role of this declining keystone species while raising their own classroom population of horseshoe crabs.

“Programs like this allow Maryland’s children to learn about the role we all can play in caring for our shared environment and all things in it,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I am thankful for the dedicated teachers who make the extra effort to use this award winning curriculum in their classrooms. Their students really benefit from the hands-on environmental and scientific lessons learned.”

The comprehensive session, held at the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center in Millersville, provided 30 teachers with all the information and supplies needed to implement the program in their classroom for the 2008-2009 school year. Participating teachers were provided with the raising equipment, an activity guide and horseshoe crab eggs. In addition, teachers learned about Horseshoe Crab life history, raising protocols, equipment setup, and lesson plans.

“The success of this hands-on environmental education effort is a testament to the enthusiasm from the teachers and in turn, the excitement of their students when learning about the bay,” said Elena Takaki, education manager with DNR.

Since 1998, more than two thousand students have participated in Horseshoe Crab Field Days to release the classroom raised horseshoe crabs. Maryland public and private elementary, middle and high schools are eligible to participate in this unique program. Teachers interested in participating in DNR’s Raising Horseshoe Crabs in the Classroom program during the 2009-2010 school year should contact Laura Rowan at lrowan [at] dnr [dot] state [dot] md [dot] us or 410-260-8775.

In April, Governor O’Malley signed an Executive Order establishing the Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature, a coalition of state, local, private and non-profit partners charged with promoting the well-being of youth by accelerating environmental learning and expanding opportunities for outdoor experiences. Raising Horseshoe Crabs In The Classroom exemplifies Maryland’s commitment to increasing opportunities for environmental education, and fosters a sense of accomplishment in children who have contributed to maintaining a healthy and active horseshoe crab population.

For more information about Raising Horseshoe Crabs In The Classroom, visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/education/horseshoecrab/release.html.