Student Life

Outdoor Education

At Baltimore Lab School, we apply our multi-sensory, experiential, arts-based Academic Club Methodology approach to adventure-based learning and environmental literacy goals.

Outdoor Education and Adventure-Based Learning

Through academic classes, adventure activities, outdoor day trips, and longer excursions, students explore their world, build their self-esteem, and emerge with a stronger sense of themselves as leaders and environmental stewards. 

The form and content of outdoor environmental activities are designed to give students an “I can do it!” experience, and help them meet specific environmental-issue instruction goals.  Environmental literacy is developed in scope and sequence in all grades and "threaded through" the arts, sciences, social studies, and humanities, in addition to a wide variety of experiences outside of school. Teachers in these disciplines collaborate to add content, meaning, and hands-on extension activities that allow our students to become true stewards of the environment. 

We use the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Issues Investigation Framework to facilitate learning that ends in student-driven action projects. Thanks to a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust (funded by sales of Maryland's Treasure of the Chesapeake license plate) we leave our urban campus to get outside and learn through hands-on experiences. Completed student-led action projects include, but are not limited to: a cup campaign to reduce waste; stream surveys and clean ups; and signs to reduce energy consumption.

Patti Child, B.S. in Recreation from the University of Maryland, leads this program. She has been bringing Lab’s innovative, creative methodology to students for 15 years and is currently a Master Watershed Steward of the Chesapeake Bay. For more information about the wonderful initiatives and activities for Baltimore Lab School’s students, contact Patti Child or take a look at Baltimore Lab School's Green School Application and our Environmental Blog

Meet Our Outdoor Education Coordinator

List of 1 members.

  • Patricia Child 

    Outdoor Education Coordinator, Swim Coach, Bus Driver
    University of Maryland - B.S.

Rock Climbing

These adventures are valued as an important tool for personal physical, emotional and social growth. Rock Climbing is open to 1st-12th grade students.  Adventure based learning experiences promote life-time skills and improves critical skills such as self-esteem, self-confidence, team work and leadership.
The Rock Climbing program is designed and customized by Tara Boucher, Karen Yeoman, March Klein, and Patti Child for Baltimore Lab School students. Registered students must plan to attend all of the classes in one session. Students will explore and learn rock climbing skills along with critical skills and self-concepts that contribute to success in academic classes and the real world.

Rock Climbing sessions are held at Earth Treks in Timonium on Tuesdays.


Our swimming program is now part of the adventure based learning experiences offered through Baltimore Lab School Outdoor Education. Adventure based learning experiences promote life-time skills and improves critical skills such as self-esteem, self-confidence, team work and leadership. The swimming program is designed and customized for Baltimore Lab School students. Instruction can include basic learn-to swim skills, stroke refinement and rescue skills. Each student receives an “Individual Swimming Plan." The emphasis is on having fun with friends while developing swimming skills for life. The objectives are to orient students to the aquatic environment, gain and build on basic skills, learn and refine different strokes, and acquire personal safety and rescue skills.

Swimming adventures are held at Weinberg Family Center Y on 33rd Street on Mondays and Fridays.

Baltimore Lab is a Certified Maryland Green School!

This accomplishment represents our school's commitment to environmental literacy for staff, students and the community. Thank you to the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) for recognizing this commitment, and supporting our students in becoming well-informed citizens and consumers.

Baltimore Lab School Environmental Literacy Goals 2015

Goal 1: Every Baltimore Lab School student graduates with the knowledge and skills to make informed environmental decisions. 

Goal 2:  All Baltimore Lab School teachers are provided with sustained professional development, tools, and resources that support their role in providing students with high-quality environmental education.      
Goal 3:  Baltimore Lab School will maintain its buildings, grounds, and operations to support positive environmental and human health outcomes.      
Goal 4:  Baltimore Lab School will reach out to regional and state programs to obtain the full suite of information and opportunities available for our students.
Founded by visionary educator Sally L. Smith in 2000, Baltimore Lab School educates bright, motivated children in Grades 1-12 with learning disabilities like dyslexia, ADHD, and more. Through our innovative, arts-based curriculum, our students go on to succeed in college and careers.