2006 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts
USDA Forest Service Adopt A School Program at Franklin Square Elementary School, Baltimore City Public School System Baltimore, Maryland
Co-Authors: Quin Holifield and Janie Gordon
Abstract: In 2006, Dr. Quin Holifield was asked to take the lead in the implementation of the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station's "Adopt a School Program" that was initiated by the Director of the Northern Research Station Director, Michael Rains, in response to the US Department of Education mandate "No Child Left Behind", for science education for Grades 4-5 at Franklin Square Elementary School, Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS), located in Baltimore, Maryland.The main goal of this program is to improve the environmental literacy of our youth while providing them with positive role models and positive career choices in fields of environmental science and math. Our long term goal is to track the students' academic achievement and to offer USDA Forest Service summer internships to the students upon entering high school and college. The more specific aim of our agency is to increase diversity among our rank and file scientists. Working with Janie Gordon (Parks and People Foundation) and Joyce Wheeler (Elementary School Science Curriculum Officer, BCPSS), Franklin Square Elementary School was chosen because the existing youth environmental enrichment programs that were established by the Parks and People Foundation and the Baltimore Ecosystem Study for Long Term Ecological Research (BES-LTER) in urban environments. The partners in this joint effort have participated in all aspects of the curriculum development including ensuring scientific accuracy of knowledge presented, assisting with writing curriculum text, and working with interested teachers. Upon approval, the science curriculum developed will be adapted and implemented as a pilot program for the academic year of 2007-2008 at Franklin Elementary School, and will be later used by science teachers from all 125 schools in the Baltimore City Public School System, that will include levels of instruction for elementary school, middle school and high school grades in Baltimore, Maryland.