AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network (AREN)

Supported by a NASA Cooperative Agreement for Education

The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) will be hosting education programs to present lessons and activities created by AEROKATS and ROVER Education Network (AREN). AREN technologies are designed by NASA engineers and lesson developments incorporate STEM education using real-world settings at CBEC. The program’s data capture and visualization tools are designed to incorporate protocols set by The Globe Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program and meet Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
To learn more about the AREN Project visit –


aerial imaging showing the marsh and the boardwalk at CBEC

Advancing Earth and Observations with Kites and Atmospheric/Terrestrial Sensors (AEROKATS) – 6-12th Grade.

The Advancing Earth Research Observations with Kites and Atmospheric/Terrestrial Sensors (AEROKATS) program uses kites with the latest low-cost scientific instruments developed by NASA engineers to collect in- situ and remotely sense atmospheric data. CBEC uses AEROKATS for low profile, aerial remote sensing of invasive salt marsh grasses in the Chesapeake Bay.

AEROKATS participants will be educated in:

  • how to operate AREOKATS equipment and field instruments used to collect atmospheric data.
  • how to properly retrieve, analyze and interpret atmospheric data on GLOBE’s database (
  • basic aerodynamics and atmospheric properties of the surrounding environment.

During the participant’s time in the AEROKATS program, students will:

  • collect in- situ and remote sensing data at different wind speeds in varied altitudes.
  • survey the diversity of CBEC property that allows students to read different landscapes.
  • gain experience operating new generation technologies.
  • learn proper kite flying and Aeropod handling techniques and practice safety management.

AREN programs incorporate GLOBE protocols and submit results online at,, to provide students the opportunity to further analyze and interpret environmental data. GLOBEs online database makes it easy to bring STEM education into the classroom and increases the amount of comparative environmental data available to scientists, citizens, and teachers around the World.

Featured Globe Protocals

  • Weather Station Protocols
  • Atmosphere Protocols
  • Biosphere Protocols
women flying kites

Scheduling an AREN Program

(20 student cap)

Choose one or both of the following programs to determine your AREN experience. A lunch break will be included for longer programs. To discuss scheduling a program, initially, please contact Judy Wink at or call 410.827.6694. A $50 deposit is due to hold your program date. Deposit can be paid online or by check.


CBEC’s fleet includes multiple kites and Aeropod designs:


Remotely Operated Vehicles for Education and Research (ROVER) – 6-12th grade.

The Remotely Operated Vehicles for Education and Research (ROVER) program will introduce students to remotely operated aquatic platforms and new age water quality data technologies that strengthen student development in scientific literacy.

Students will be educated on:

  • how to monitor water quality data at CBEC’s freshwater ponds and unique salt water ecosystems.
  • to interpret the result of hydrology tests to determine the status of water quality.
  • methods of research.

During the participant’s time in the ROVER program, students will:

  • collect local water quality data using a payload of standard sensors and probes.
  • record multiple water quality measurements to a LabQuest.
  • be introduced to water quality paramaters that are important to both fresh and saltwater habitats, and are specific to each ecosystem.
  • view habitat and biota with an underwater camera and a panoramic front view camera.
  • investigate the plants and animals that are found in and around an aquatic ecosystem.
girls operating remote boat during rover education.