CSH2O Programs

Oyster & Environmental Education

The primary goals of our Oyster & Environmental Education Programs are to provide quality hands-on experiences to students and to instill a passion for ways students can help within their communities.  Oysters and oyster recovery have a critical ecological role in the health of our Chesapeake Bay.  Our programs offer lessons about these amazing shellfish, the Chesapeake Bay, it’s watershed and the environment as it relates to our waterways.

ClearShark H2O’s Education Coordinator works with the teacher and/or organization to meet the needs of their audience. The lessons can be tailored with a seasonal theme or a special topic to support your school, class, or community organization.  Most of our lessons can be delivered in a virtual setting if necessary.

Lessons are adapted to the appropriate grade level and are available for adult groups as well.  They are designed with a hands-on component, so group sizes up to 30 can be accommodated.  Each lesson is scheduled to run approximately 45-50 minutes, and this can be adjusted to meet your class duration.  Lessons can be presented as an individual lesson or combined for a longer presentation. We come to you!

Our lessons are provided at no cost to schools or other not for profit organizations.  We are also available for summer/specialty camps and other for profit organizational events for a fee of $10 per student per lesson.  We are pleased to offer a 10% discount if more than one lesson is scheduled.

Who Polluted the Chesapeake?

Audience:  All Grade Levels
Location:  School Classroom or Community Facility

This hands-on activity allows students to learn about the impact of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries to include:  land use, runoff, industrialization, and consumerism.  Students will visibly see the effects of pollution and learn how they can affect change in the watershed.  The students will discuss what they can do better, both at school and at home, to prevent these types of things from happening.

Plastics… Pollution Solution!

Audience:  All Grade Levels
Location:  School Classroom or Community Facility

Plastic pollution is a big problem for our waterways.  This lesson raises awareness on the issues created by plastic pollution on the ecosystem and the Chesapeake Bay.  It also provides information on how plastics affect our waterways and how students can effect change.  Also, included is a hands-on activity for students to sort a variety of plastics into a timeline of “How Long Until They Are Gone?”

Where Have All the Oysters gone?  A historical view of the oyster and watermen culture.

Audience:  All Grade Levels
Location:  School Classroom or Community Facility

This activity explains what has happened to the oyster—the keystone species in the Chesapeake Bay.  It also provides the history of oyster harvesting and tools used in the watermen’s industry.  Students get to see the actual tools and gear waterman still use and rely on.  For younger students, this can also include reading the book “Wind and Oyster Jack” by Marcia Moore.

The Oyster from the Outside to the Inside!

Audience:  Grades 3 and Above
Location:  School Classroom or Community Facility

Students learn what is inside an oyster shell and how they grow.  They will learn the four stages of the oyster’s life cycle through the examination of shellacked shells.  They will discuss healthy oyster habitats, oyster reefs and sanctuaries. The program culminates with a live oyster dissection where students get to see and touch the inside of a live oyster.  They will also be able to identify a few key organs of the oyster.

Story Time & Oyster Tonging

Audience:  Grades K-4
Location:  School Classroom or Community Facility

Students are read a short story/picture book on what is involved in “working the waters” for a local oyster harvester and his Skipjack.   A dredge/tong set is brought in for the students to see and touch.

Oyster Field Games

Audience:  All Grade Levels
Location:  School Classroom or Community Facility

Oyster Field Games is a set of interactive challenges that give students at all grade levels an opportunity to learn about their impact on the environment and our waterways in a “team building” atmosphere.  Students participate in either an outdoor or indoor (preferably in a gym or rec center if indoor) setting that allows interaction with a focus on both physical and mental challenges that rely on group dynamics.

Note:  Due to the nature of the “problem solving” of these challenges, the details of the individual activities are not shared in advance to allow for a more novel experience and positive outcomes. The element of surprise is an important part of this program.  However, specifics can be shared on an as needed basis with the class instructor.