Training Opportunities

HBF Environmental Science Summer InstituteHard Bargain Farm offers annual professional development opportunities for teachers and environmental education practitioners. During institutes and workshops, teachers become “students,” actively exploring our curriculum and field studies by participating in hands-on activities, models, and conducting in depth field study investigations amid diverse habitats on the farm and in nearby Piscataway National Park. Teachers learn and practice activities designed to investigate issues at their school and to prepare their students for an outdoor experience.

Two exciting Summer 2014 Teacher Institutes at Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center.


Environmental Science Summer Institute for Prince George’s County Public School Teachers

WHO: 4th to 8th grade PGCPS elementary science teachers. Priority given to teams of two or more teachers from any given school


  • A curriculum of engaging lesson plans, based on MVSC indicators, that can be used to enhance your instruction of scientific inquiry and environmental studies;
  • Nationally recognized issue investigation methods for guiding students in the scientific inquiry of authentic investigations;
  • Hands-on participation in a series of authentic field investigations to identify and investigate environmental problems;
  • MSDE credits upon completion of portfolio; small stipend
  • Overnight lodging available (30 minutes from Washington, D.C. and 50 minutes from Baltimore).

WHERE: The Alice Ferguson Foundation, Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center
WHEN: 2014
REGISTRATION: Register through PGCPS:

Contact: Karen Jensen Miles [email protected]
Phone: (301) 292-5665
Fax: (301) 292-1070

Build an Outdoor Learning Community at Your Own School

This new week-long workshop builds on the Alice Ferguson Foundation’s successful Schoolyards as Classrooms Project, which trains teachers in how to provide direct experience for their students outside on their school grounds.  The project engages students in outdoor activities in a range of ways, from meaningful 10 minute mini-lessons to a complete issue investigation leading to a student action project.

WHO: open to all upper elementary and middle school teachers (4th to 8th grade) in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

WHERE: The Alice Ferguson Foundation, Hard Bargain Farm Environmental Center

WHEN: Summer 2014. Class hours are 8 AM to 4 PM daily, with extended day on Wednesday.

Overnight bunkroom accommodations are available. (See for information on our facilities)

COST: Free to all teachers. Funding is available for follow-up school action projects.

Apply online here


In this institute teachers will learn how to:

  • Find, create, and utilize outdoor learning spaces in your school yard for hands-on, place-based lessons.
  • Be a mentor for your fellow teachers by training others  to  use the outdoors as a teaching context
  • Adapt your curriculum to include engaging outdoor experiences for all grade levels and subject areas, correlating with STEM, E-Lit, Common Core and NGSS.
  • Overcome obstacles to teaching students outside by engaging your administration, maintenance staff, and community in outdoor projects at your school.

By attending this institute teachers will:

  • Receive three MSDE credits (after completing fall follow-up activities in your school)
  • Become a trained Project WET facilitator
  • Be eligible for funding and support to complete fall action projects at your school

Participants are expected to:

  • Come with enthusiasm for, and interest in, outdoor learning for their students.
  • Help develop a “Train the Trainer” manual to guide teachers through the process of infusing outdoor education at other schools.
  • Conduct at least one Project WET training at their school in SY2014-15.
  • Leave with new ideas, solutions, and a network of support.
  • Develop an action project at the institute to be completed with students in the fall of SY 2014-15 (funding available).

For more information or to apply: please contact Libby Campbell at [email protected] or apply online here


See below for other teacher training opportunities you may be interested in:

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For additional training opportunities, visit our outreach calendar.