Science teachers from Frederick County and Washington County Public Schools completed an intensive workshop on Schoolyard Urban Heat Studies Program offered by the Hood College Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies (CCWS).
Schoolyard Urban Heat Studies
Hood-CCWS's Schoolyard Urban Heat Studies program trains teachers how to measure the impacts their schoolyards may have on surface, air, and water environments from increase temperatures caused by development & impervious surfaces.
Participating teachers have used the lessons from the Schoolyard Urban Heat Program to satisfy the Maryland high school curriculum requirements of Biology, Environmental Science, and Earth Science.
Warming of local temperatures can be attributed to increases in urban development when compared to rural, undeveloped land.
- Known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect, surface temperatures are warmer than forested areas, air temperatures remain warm throughout the evening, and water quality impairment is noted in watersheds with as little as 10% impervious surface (IS) coverage.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are used to mitigate UHI effects by decreasing temperatures of IS, increasing infiltration of rain water, and treating stormwater runoff to reduce its temperature and pollutant load.
- Classroom presentations, lessons, and hands -on labs result in 9 or more outdoor field experiences on school grounds.
- A subset of program lessons are available for use as online distance learning for when classrooms cannot meet tradtionally.
- Students conduct initial schoolyard property characterization activities using online mapping tools and outdoor schoolyard visits.
- Classroom lessons and labs demonstrate thermal properties of water and building materials (e.g., albedo).
- Temperature data is collected in one or more modules for comparison to a rural reference site, State maintained data sites, and Maryland State Stream Use \ Water Quality Standards
- Data and information from all three modules are compiled by students to conduct a final Schoolyard Thermal Assessment evaluating overall schoolyard impact. Assessments can be compared between schools &/or seasons.
- Lastly, students conduct a schoolyard tour to identify existing BMPs and opportunities for additional BMP implementation.
Temperature Data Site (latest release 08/04/2021)
Link to Onset website for info on HOBO Temperature Loggers used in our Urban Heat Program
For more information about Hood-CCWS Schoolyard Urban Heat Studies, contact: Dr. Drew Ferrier, 301-696-3660
Project Funding from a Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program, 2016-2022
NOAA - Chesapeake Bay Office
- October 2019 Herald Mail Media "Washington County students study urban heat impact"
- April 2018 Frederick News-Post "No simple answers: Three-year experiment challenges students to think critically about water"
- December 2016 Frederick News Post: "Rainy Days preferred for new environmental science program"
On Friday, February 9th staff from Hood College's Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies hosted a 3-hour workshop at the MAEOE Annual conference for attendees to learn how to measure potential urban heat island effects at their schoolyards.
- Natural Sciences
- Community Involvement
Schoolyard Urban Heat Investigations
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