Problem Based Learning- Frederick County Middle Schools

Admiral Byrd Middles School (ABMS) 

PBL Driving Question
 How will the construction of the new high 
school affect the air and water quality? What historical, cultural, social and economic impacts will building a new high school have on the environment? 

For our project, we are creating an Environmental Impact Statement. Students were presented with the fact

that a new high school will be constructed nearby to ABMS.  Students are conducting an environmental impact investigation of the proposed high school site using techniques learned during fall field investigations at Blandy.  They are writing a modified environmental impact statement using a slide presentation format to include the purpose, description of the land, analysis of the scientific and historical impact of construction on the site, and a conclusion.  Upon completion of the environmental impact statements, students from each team will be selected to present their findings to a panel during a community event on a designated night.

Frederick County Middle School (FCMS)

PBL Driving Question:  If our school location is a net zero site, can our well and all the other systems sustain our building at full capacity?  What could we do as a school to ensure that all the water is used responsibly?

Students are examining the design of FCMS as a net zero water location and what actions can be taken to maintain the quality of water in this design.  For their final projects, students will create public service announcements directed towards the school community about strategies to conserve water or persuade the Frederick County School Board to use the FCMS net zero model in the design of the new elementary school that is being planned.

Students also are learning about issues related to the access of potable water sources by reading the novel, A Long Walk to Water, and the historical record of conflicts related to access to water sources.  After reading the book, students will investigate the natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems through analyzing and testing water resources in and around FCMS.

The Third Teacher = the Environment

FCMS interactive website is filled with videos and presentations highlighting  environmental features at school. 

Topics Include 

1.       Water supply

2.       Stormwater management

3.       Wastewater management

4.       Resource conservation

5.       Geothermal heating/cooling

PBL Driving Question: Where should Blandy build its proposed Education Center?  This school will follow the same PBL plan as for project years 1 & 2.

James Wood Middle School (JWMS)  

PBL Driving Question:  Where should we build a Community Garden designed to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for our local food banks? 

Students are conducting an E.I.S. assessment of potential garden locations on their school grounds and will propose a potential site.  JWMS is partnering with neighboring Museum of the Shenandoah Valley to assess potential impacts to Abram’s Creek, a stream that borders the school and museum properties.  Students’ final projects will be presented to the public during a special community event.

Chesapeake Bay Program - MWEE James Wood Middle School