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List of State Officials - Martin O'Malley, Governor; Anthony Brown, Lt. Governor; Shari T. Wilson, Acting MDE Secretary 

Volume II, Number 11

 March 2007

eMDE is a monthly publication of the Maryland Department of the Environment. It covers articles on current environmental issues and events in the state. 

MDE Makes Its Mark on MAEOE

By Kim Lamphier, Office of Communications

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MAEOE Outreach 

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The Maryland Department of the Environment’s (MDE) Education Team, made up of outreach staff from each administration, demonstrated our exciting interactive education programs to over 300 teachers and environmental educators at the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Annual Meeting held February 2 - 4, in Ocean City.

“We partner with MAEOE because they provide an excellent opportunity to market our well developed educational programs to schools,” said MDE Acting Secretary Shari Wilson. “We look forward to continuing our work with MAEOE on programs such as Green Schools.”

The conference began with intensive half-day sessions, including a presentation by MDE’s Molly Edsall, a Geologist in the Mining Program. This program implements the state’s surface mine law and participates in many educational activities to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Molly took the teachers through a series of hands-on activities that she brings to their classroom and provided an overview of MDE’s mining program. In the first activity “Paste With A Taste,” participants learn about the everyday use of minerals. In this activity, participants worked in teams to make toothpaste using Tums antacids, baking soda, flavored extracts, and food coloring. Each team then developed a jingle to advertise their toothpaste and presented their jingles to the group.

Cookie Mining – Let the Chips Fall Where They May

MDE’s “Cookie Mining” activity teaches about the economics of mining and reclamation by mining chocolate chips out of cookies. Participants were given a budget to purchase one of three cookies and their mining equipment. Once their mining was complete they simulated reclamation. They were then able to calculate their profit/loss based on their ability to reclaim the land, the funds spent on equipment, and the number of chips mined. 

Can You Dig It?

“Bird Seed Mining” demonstrates the relative scarcity of many of the minerals that we use everyday. It is an activity where students mine birdseed for a common mineral and three less common minerals and are then charged for reclamation.

Saturday activities involved the Education Team marketing our education programs to participants in a 50-minute session. Kim Lamphier, Education and International Outreach Coordinator gave an overview of MDE’s participation in national activities such as Grime Crime and World Water Monitoring Day. Molly from the Water Management Administration described her mining activities, Bob Maddox from the Air and Radiation Administration talked about air quality education. Kara Schwenke of the Land Management Administration talked about the myriad of recycling education activities available through MDE’s various administrations. With a full trashcan, Kara took stock of its trash contents and demonstrated how much household waste can be recycled. 

MDE Booth: the Local Hot Spot

Participants visited the MDE booth staffed by Reider White of MDE’s Air and Radiation Management Admninistration. Materials included the Department’s new education brochure, the “It All Adds Up to Clean Air” calendar that includes award-winning photographic contributions from Maryland’s high schools, and a mining process video. State collateral materials were supported with information on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “Tools for Schools” and "Healthy SEAT" (School Environments Assessment Tool), program to improve indoor air quality in our schools. 

MDE unveiled our new education website just in time for MAEOE. Through this website, you can access resources and schedule a program for your school or group. 

MDE strongly supports MAEOE’s Green Schools Program. The Maryland Green School Awards Program is a holistic, integrated approach to learning about energy and energy conservation. It incorporates local environmental issue investigation and professional development with environmental best management practices and community stewardship. It involves research activities such as examining and evaluating data to identify the decline in horseshoe crab populations, and implement a dedication program for the Schoolyard Forest that they planted with their local forestry board.

MDE can provide programs and limited technical assistance to schools applying for a Green School Award. Contact Kim Lamphier at editor.mde@maryland.gov or 410-537-3152.


©2007 Copyright MDE

Editorial Board
Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21230