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Student Scientists Present Report Card on Howard County Watersheds

April 29th, 2019

Howard County Public School System Superintendent Michael J. Martirano and Howard County Executive Calvin Ball joined other county leaders and decision makers on April 10 at the Watershed Summit hosted by the Howard County Conservancy in Woodstock, Maryland. At the summit, student representatives presented their Watershed Report Card, an assessment of the watersheds that drain Howard County, all of which impact the Chesapeake Bay.

Teams of students from each Howard County public high school reported on their findings from a recently concluded, yearlong study of Howard County streams and watersheds. The student scientists—Earth/Space Science and GT Biology freshmen—worked like professional scientists to develop researchable questions, collect and analyze data, collaborate, and communicate their findings.

The Watershed Report Card project is aligned with Maryland’s environmental literacy standards, and is fully integrated into the HCPSS freshman curriculum. All ninth grade students participate in the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) by studying a relevant environmental problem and taking action as a result of their learning.

As part of their project this year, Long Reach High School students completed “20 for 20”: groups of students patrolled the school campus and picked up trash for 20 minutes during each of 20 days in April.

HCPSS’ Watershed Report Card program has been widely recognized, including on the floor of the U.S. Senate by Senator Ben Cardin.

The project is a collaboration between HCPSS and the Howard County Conservancy, and is supported by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.