• Seining

    Students seining during Shoreline Connections field trip

    SERC offers students hands-on opportunities to learn about the Bay, by donning waders, using microscopes, and handling live organisms. 

  • Oyster reef

    Students learn about oyster reefs and the Bay.

    SERC offers hands-on learning about oysters and the Bay while on the water.

  • ROV program

    Broadcom students participate in SERC's ROV program

    SERC offers STEM programs for schools and organized groups of all ages and interests. This includes STEM programs like the Remotely Operated Vehicle Workshop.

  • Oyster bar

    Students sort through oyster shells to learn about the Bay.

    SERC offers outdoor and hands-on science programs for K-12, hands-on and outside.

  • teacher professional development

    Teacher Professional Development

    SERC offers a wide variety of teacher professional development and certifications for environmental educators. 

  • Fish from the Rhode River

    Fish from the Rhode River

    SERC offers hands-on programs for schools and groups, including watershed studies and food webs. 

  • hydraulics

    Broadcom students compete to build blue crab hydraulics.

    SERC offers a variety of STEM based programs, including Blue Crab Hydraulics. 

  • teacher professional development

    Teacher Professional Development

    SERC offers a wide variety of teacher professional development.


The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is dedicated to providing high quality educational programs that incorporate SERC research with hands-on, virtual, and inquiry-based learning. Our programs are led by SERC staff and highly-trained volunteers, and emphasize environmental literacy (eLit) and the practices of science – one of the major components of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We offer programs K-12 schools, organized groups, and teacher professional development. Programs are offered year round. Please visit the tabs on the right of the page for more program specifics. We look forward to working with you, your students, participants, and groups. 

To book a field trip, you will need to fill out our online form or contact Karen McDonald to purchase a pass with a fixed price based on vehicle type/capacity. Entire payment required at time of booking for passes, and includes free chaperone passes. You must book at least two weeks before your trip.

SCHEDULE (2021 - 2022)

  • May 28th- Introduction to Native Orchids of Maryland & SERC's Mycorrhizal Fungus research (Talk)
  • June 25th- Fossil Atmopsheres Research and Leaf Margin Analysis to Predict Regional Analysis (Lab class, you will need to collect 10 leaves from your community)
  • July 30th- How to Read a Scientific Paper for Maximum Content Understanding, Even if You're Not a Scientist (Discussion & Activity)
  • August 27th- Archeologist Jim Gibb Presents Current Archeological Research at SERC (title TBA, Talk)
  • September 24th- SERC Citizen Science: Saw Whet Owl Banding at SERC, Introduction to the Birds and Our Results so Far
  • October 29th- Fish Identification for the Rhode River Estuary (if we're reopened we'll go seining) (Outside Lab or Talk)
  • November 19th- Nature Walk & Identification Skills, hike on the new Contee Farm Trail, approx 1.5 miles, varied terrain (TBD if not reopened) (Walk)
  • December 10th- Nature Book Discussion (we'll vote on a title from our top 3 choices) (Discussion)
  • January 28th- Analysis of River Otter Behavior and Kleptoparasitism (food stealing by raccoons) Based on Game Camera Footage (Interactive Lab)
  • February 25th- Owls of Maryland and Owl Pellet Dissection (Lab- must purchase pellet online, usually $2.50/ea)
  • March 25th- Spring Emergence Walk (Walk/Talk)