Maryland – District of Columbia (MDC)

MDC is  the original WASH chapter with members or other interested people in the greater Washington area including Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland.
Our members cover the spectrum labeled  freethinkers, skeptics, secular humanists, non-theists, atheists, agnostics and the recent Nones or “not sure”.
Like other WASH chapters we  participate in a range of activities with other groups of like interests.

WASH MDC January, 2018 Topic

What would it take to establish a K-12 Humanist School in the DC area?

Is it a good idea?

Saturday, January 13, 2018
3:30 PM
 to 5:00 PM
DC Chevy Chase Regional library
5625 Connecticut Ave. NW Washington, D.C. 20015
At the recent DC HumanLight party in Potomac one topic we explored into the night was the idea of launching a program to establish a Humanistic school in the DC area which featured a Humanistic curriculum. That is a one with a secular philosophy with moral principles rather than one that ignore moral and philosophical issues or is a faith based one. Part of this discussion covered WASH member education experience in bringing the dynamics of real group and social life into the classroom for younger children (K-3). This might be part of a base for curriculum that emphasizes character development (making smart decisions, being a good person, etc.) which leads up to more abstractions for later grades.

This meeting will be devoted to a community discussion of that idea with an exploration of its nature and feasibility.
One goal of discussion is to see if there is an interest in developing an action plan.

Some background will be provided on extant examples where people may have experience –
Green Acres, Lowell, Georgetown Dar, and Sheridan are often cited as not religious at all. Sidwell is Quaker, but the religious aspects are pretty light and most of the student body is not Quaker. Ethical Culture has a Sunday program for ethical education.

There are some secular curriculum examples and we might discuss. Some aspects of the humanistic curriculum were prominent during the heights​ ​of the creative self-expression era in art education during the 1960s and 1970s. The experience of the Carl Sagan Academy which was located in east Tampa, Fla. and provided Middle School Education to children in grades 6th, 7th, and 8th.
But it closed.  Is this a bad sign for something like a Charter School?

• As always  bring Ideas and curiosity…our meetings are open and free to all.

WASH MDC February, 2018 Topic

Saturday, February 17, 2018
1:00 PM
 to 3:30 PM
Venue:  Rockville Library
21 Maryland Ave · Rockville, MD
Recent research on teaching and learning evolution in high school classrooms
Well it is not exactly Darwin Day, but we have a suitable topic for Darwin’s birth month in February – educating youth about evolution.
We are very happy to have Briana Pobiner as our educational guide on this topic.

Briana Pobiner is a paleoanthropologist whose research centers on the evolution of human diet (with a focus on meat-eating), but has included topics as diverse as cannibalism in the Cook Islands and chimpanzee carnivory.

Since joining the Smithsonian in 2005 to help put together the Hall of Human Origins and now leads the Human Origins Program’s education and outreach efforts.
In addition she continues to be active in her field, laboratory, and experimental research programs. Briana is also an Associate Research Professor of Anthropology at the George Washington University.

For general information and if there are any questions you may contact the chapter coordinator:

Gary Berg-Cross via email at
Don Evans picture of George

 For general information about the MDC chapter, contact Gary Berg-Cross via email ( or via phone (240-426-0770).

P.O. Box 15319 Washington, DC 20003

General info on WASH MDC

Phone: 240-426-0770

Please remember that WASH is a volunteer organization. Contributions of your time and money are the core of WASH’s ability to serve you, our membership. If you’re not already a member, please consider joining for $35, or at least becoming a friend of WASH for $10. If you have the means to provide financial support for WASH beyond the membership dues, your contributions help WASH engage in projects such as the following:

  • Printing of the Ingersoll Walk booklet (estimated cost: $300)
  • Upgrades for the next Ingersoll Oratory Contest to include rental of a tent, an improved PA system, and upgraded prizes for contestants (estimated cost: $2,000).
  • A project to make WASH generated videos available on YouTube (estimated cost: $500)
  • Support for student groups (estimated cost: $500)
  • Support for a fee-based speaker, such as professional interpreters of Jefferson (Steve Edenbo) or Madison, book authors, or others at a WASH event (estimated cost: $3,000)
  • Advertising campaigns such as billboards (estimated cost: $5,000)

Thank you!

Past Meetings

For Recent Past meetings see:


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