An Environmental Education #TBT

Posted by on August 28, 2014

Are you a fan of our Kids Club Facebook page? If so, you saw the following post…

Today we’re featuring Mark and Joe for our ‪#‎TBT‬… The only thing that’s changed is Joe’s facial hair!  Mark still leads our Environmental Education team and can be found teaching in schools across the MD/DC/VA area. In addition to “Power it Up – Wind,” we now have lessons for “Power it Up – Solar,” “CSI: Creek Scene Investigators,” “Watts Up,” “A Raindrop’s Journey,” and “Surviving in Lord Baltimore’s Backyard.” Email Mark at for more information about these awesome learning experiences!


Mark and Joe Environmental Education

Bar-T Mountainside Challenge & Retreat Center opened in 2006 and combines the best in outdoor education, recreation and high adventure while furthering our mission to promote environmental literacy.  Our 115-acre campus is the perfect outdoor classroom for student observation and exploration of environmental stewardship, challenges and opportunities.

Bar-T has brought our 20 plus years of ropes course and team building experience to the Mountainside facility that was built from the ground up to challenge and excite participants of all ages and abilities.  We work with each of our groups to develop a customized program geared to meet the group’s specific goals and needs.  Our team has worked with faculty of independent and public schools, students from elementary grades through college, corporate groups, sports teams and more.

In addition to team building, the wetlands, creeks, agriculture and other natural features of Mountainside provide the perfect backdrop for STEM-based lessons and Environmental Education.  We have partnered with area classroom teachers to develop lessons that leverage Mountainside’s unique facility and our staff of experiential educators to enrich curriculum based instruction and supplement our outdoor education experiences.  The following is a sample of the lessons that we offer:


  • Bar-T’s Watts Up lesson supports MCPS 1st grade curriculum standards.  This lessonis an engaging exploration of electricity and conservation that brings hands-on learning stations into your classrooms.  Students will investigate the potential of wind, water and solar power.  They will learn what current sources generate our area’s electricity, why renewable sources are good for our environment and why it’s important to make sure we turn off the lights when we leave the classroom!
  • Lord Baltimore’s Backyard supports MCPS 2nd grade curriculum standards.  This lesson guides students on an exploration through the wetlands, woods and fields of Mountainside as they observe Maryland’s natural features and take on the role of native animals as they seek out what they need to survive in a variety of habitats.
  • CSI: Creek Scene Investigators supports MCPS 4th grade curriculum standards.  This lesson allows students to take on the role of citizen scientists as they develop the knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate the health of tributaries within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
  • Power it Up – Wind is a wind energy lesson designed to support MCPS 5th grade curriculum standards.  Power it Up centers around students’ collaborative exploration of wind turbine models and the current role of wind as a viable source of renewable energy in Maryland.  Students work in collaborative groups, with the materials we provide, to build a model wind turbine, test it and re-work the design based upon their own results and observations of their peers.
  • Power it Up – Solar is an extension of the Power it Up Wind Lesson that explores both solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technology.  Synthesis, Elaboration and Intellectual Risk Taking all play a role as students collaborate to solve and develop models for a variety of real-world problems using what they have learned about solar energy.

Interested in learning more? Email Mark at and he’ll get back to you as soon as he dries off from playing in the creek!