Traveling along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, 8th graders at The Mount Washington School learned about important history and a problem of today’s world.
The students had been studying Captain John Smith’s work to map the waterways of the Chesapeake. With paddles in hand, they became captains themselves as they steered kayaks along the same route Smith took on the Patapsco River 400 years ago. The students also learned how to communicate with flag signals, analyzed skulls from the Chesapeake area, and mapped water routes of the British during the War of 1812. But many students were struck by how much trash now pollutes the water.
The field trip was part of the National Park Service’s Kids in Kayaks program, which retraces Smith’s route in mapping the coastline and waterways. During the 2015-16 school year, about 600 Baltimore City Public Schools students will have to participate in the program.