BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A new state rule requires all Maryland high school graduates to be environmentally literate–but first, teachers have to get up to speed.

Alex DeMetrick reports that’s sending teachers back to school on the water.

It’s like high school all over again, except the classroom is a Chesapeake Bay Foundation boat, and the lesson is the troubled water of the Inner Harbor. High school teachers from nine counties are getting hands-on experience with the tools researchers use.

“So these teachers will be writing educational modules for environmental literacy that can be used by other teachers as well,” said Laura Murray, University of Maryland Center For Environmental Science.

Because ready or not, environmental literacy is a new requirement to graduate from Maryland high schools. To teach it, teachers have to learn it and figure out a way of getting students to buy in.

“Learning about the environment and all the policies and issues, I think they’ll be interested in it if you present it in an interesting light,” said teacher Kim Saltburg.

The goal of lessons learned here extend well beyond the classroom.

“They have to be more conscious of what is going on in their environment, if it is to last and sustain for their children and their children’s children,” said teacher Kimani Jones.

Maryland is the first state to require environmental literacy for its students.


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