Around the Bend Best
for 9th through 12th grade. Students analyze mock water
quality samples to deduce the condition of a river, and the likely human
activities occurring "around the bend" that would lead to the
observed results. Preliminary information on watersheds and water quality is
provided up front with a brief introductory discussion.
How Watersheds Work
Best for middle school students but can be tailored to suit any age group.
Uses a question-driven approach, and simple line drawings to illustrate how
water flows through a watershed, and how what people do within a watershed
that can promote or harm watershed functioning.
Keep Well Water Study
Best for high school students. This is a two-session activity that takes place
over three days. The students learn how to test for bacteria in their drinking
water, conduct the test, and then analyze the results. The discussion
addresses potential problems posed by contaminated drinking water, mitigation
strategies, and local factors influencing the quality and quantity of drinking
Stream in an Envelope Water Quality Exercise
Great for middle school students. Uses an envelope full of cutout line
drawings of "critters" to represent the benthic macroinvertibrates
one may find in a stream. These critters are identified, tallied and scored
using a standardized protocol. Discussion includes factors affecting stream
quality, watershed services and conservation, and the shared nature of water
Analyzing Data Best
for high school students. Participants analyze and graph locally-generated
quantitative data on drinking water quality. Allows for a discussion of water
as it relates to human health, and factors affecting the quality of
Watershed Stewardship Fairs Best
at the middle school level. This activity takes about three-hours, during
which students rotate between concurrent mini-demonstrations given by local
natural resource professionals. Total group size can range from 30 to 100
students. After rotating through three to five demonstrations, the students
participate in a panel discussion with the presenters.