I-ASC: Investigate, Analyze, Synthesize, Communicate 

"Advancing Environmental and Geographic Literacy through Problem-based Learning in the Middle School Grades"

Investigative Question

“Where should Blandy Experimental Farm build its proposed education center?”

Project Design

All 6th grade students conduct investigations in the field and classroom examining and evaluating potential effects on existing environmental and cultural resources at Blandy. At the end of each school year, select groups of students present their proposals before the Foundation of the State Arboretum Board.

 Strategies and Logistics 

Blandy and Frederick County Public Schools educators use a multi-disciplinary, problem-based learning (PBL) approach to guide 1000 6th grade students through the problem-solving process.  

Students visit Blandy twice each school year (fall and spring) to assess environmental and historic/cultural resources and potential effects that the development of a building site could have on these resources. Each field investigation day is preceded and followed by work in core content classes. 

The concept map below outlines the interconnected components of this year-long PBL module.



The I-ASC project is a partnership between Blandy Experimental Farm/UVA and Frederick County Public Schools.  This project is made possible through a generous grant from the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training Program (B-WET).