Immaculate Conception School expanded its 4th and 5th grade science programs this year with the help of a $5000 Education Mini Grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. This funding supports the STREAM curriculum in exploration, field trips and instruction by the staff of NorthBay, in addition to the curriculum provided by science teachers. This Blue Ribbon school was able to demonstrate on campus field techniques in scientific learning, provide field trips to Meadowbrook Park for stream sampling, Prigel Dairy for sustainable dairy farming techniques and to Conowingo Dam to learn about producing energy, while supporting the fish and water life in the area.
As part of the ICS STREAM Fair held April 26, 2017, the students demonstrated their education on the effects of runoff. A comparison was made in two interactive models that demonstrated the different effects on the ecology of an area when different strategies are used. One model showed how not protecting the soil, water life and water supply led to algae blooms that were created by the influx of nutrients. The excess nutrients make the water so murky that the plants die ending the cycle of life. The more beneficial strategy was shown in the second model that used simple techniques to prevent soil erosion, runoff of vital nutrients into the water supply and estuaries that can kill the grasses that filter the water as well as the fish and shellfish we eat. The students also demonstrated how rocks and plants can act as filters to trap sediment. They capped it off by showing the benefits of solar power and electric cars in the more environmentally focused model.
The student’s capstone project was to expand the native garden near their athletic field. The students had to weed the current and prospective garden area and plant 450 native plants. The native garden's goal is to retain the soil on the hill and cope with the parking lot runoff that will run into the Chesapeake Bay and our water supply.
The Chesapeake Bay Trust Education Mini Grant funds are generated by Marylanders, who buy the Chesapeake Bay Trust license plates with the heron on them. For more information, visit https://cbtrust.org/purchase-a-bay-plate/ For more information on Immaculate Conception School, call 410-427-4801 or visit our website at www.theimmaculate.org.