Maryland is now the first state in the country to have such a graduation requirement, and Gov. Martin O'Malley called it a defining moment in education.
Standard science courses will have to be revamped if they don't connect classroom learning with the outside environment. The Department of Education is currently revising the environmental literacy standards to guide school districts on how exactly they can meet them.
Advocates of the change argue that the new requirements won't increase costs to school districts, and say that pending federal legislation may provide funding.