The Watershed Access Lab provides numerous opportunities for teachers to access training and lab equipment to enhance learning of watershed stewardship and environmental science.
WAL courses and professional development (PD) workshops emphasize hands-on training in water quality assessment using computerized water quality monitoring, aquatic macroinvertebrates as bio-indicators of river health, measuring stream discharge and nutrient loading, as well as programs for educators promoting math and science exploration through watershed studies.
Below you will find a number of resources that could assist in teaching water and environmental education. This list is by no means complete as resources are constantly being added and improved. If you have a favorite resource, please consider sharing it by emailing Maura Whittemore so she can add it to our site.
Climate Interactive creates interactive, easy-to-use, and scientifically rigorous simulations that enable people to see connections, play out scenarios, and see what works to address the biggest challenges we face.
Discoverwater is a self-directed educational resource about different water topics—ranging from global to personal perspective—which together reflect many of the complex and important roles of water in our lives. DiscoverWater.org games are designed for use by children ages 7-12 and for educators and parents of this age group, both in and out of a classroom setting.
Environmental Protection Agency: Drinking Water Activities for Students and Teachers
EPA outlines activities and lesson plans to help teachers and student understand drinking water resources and the importance of tending to clean drinking water. Activities are broken down by grade level to make it easier for teachers to identify the appropriate resources.
Environmental Protection Agency Educational Resources
This website provides K-12 students and educators with access to quality homework resources, lesson plans and project ideas for learning and teaching about the environment.
Environmental Protection Agency: Watershed Academy
Watershed Academy Web, is the program's distance learning program. The website offers a variety of self-paced training modules that represent a basic and broad introduction to the watershed management field.
Environmental Protection Agency: Wetlands Education for Students and Teachers
This website provides resources for teachers and students to understand the importance of wetlands and their conservations. The activities, teaching guides, educational programs and videos offers insight into these important habitats.
Project Learning Tree
Project Learning Tree advances environmental literacy and promotes stewardship through environmental education by providing curriculum resources that use trees and forests as windows on the world.
Project WET provides a number of digital tools to assist educators in advancing water education to understand global challenges and inspire local solutions.
Project WILD offers educators resources in wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources.
River Network: Online Resources
River Network has made some of their stream monitoring documents available on-line in eBook format for free downloading including Living Waters: A Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Manual by Geoff Dates and Jack Byrne.
SFS Media Libraries
This page on the SFS website provides links to videos and still images of a wide range of freshwater organisms that can be used in classrooms and outreach programs.
Society for Freshwater Science
Formerly known as the North American Benthological Society, this educational resource link for SFS lists example labs and links to helpful teaching and educational resources in freshwater science. Most exercises and examples are designed for high school or undergraduate educational programs.
Stroud Water Research Center: Aquatic Macro Invertebrate Key
Use this identification key to identify an aquatic macroinvertebrate you found in a local freshwater waterbody. This key is an example of a dichotomous key — at each step you choose between two mutually exclusive statements about a characteristic until you find the identification of the macroinvertebrate.
The Nature Conservatory: Nature Lab
Download our educational resources for students in elementary school. Lessons cover how dirt works, the role of pollinators, how nature filters water, and more! Each lesson plan comes with a free teacher's guide and video.
The Water Project:
Water Crisis Lesson Plans, for grades K-12, are packed with engaging lesson for students. Written by a certified teacher with a busy professional in mind, we're sure you'll find the activities useful out-of-the-box or as a great head start.
USGS Resources for Teachers
The USGS education webpages contain a curated collection of educational resources across the grade levels from pre-K through college. They focus on all of the earth sciences including geology, ecology, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, and planetary sciences. Teachers can search by grade level, topic, or type.
Valley City State University Macro-Invertebrate Lab: Digital Key to Aquatic Insects of North Dakota
Digital key for freshwater macroinvertebrates for aquatic insects of North Dakota. The images and glossary are helpful no matter what region you are studying.
Water on the Web (WOW)
A national curriculum designed to help college and high school students understand and solve real-world environmental problems focused on water. The site contains curricula, data from lakes and rivers, online primers, data interpretation, and Geographic Information System Tools.
World Wildlife Federation Teaching Resources
Connecting educators and parents with the tools and resources they need to help kids explore and understand the world around them. Together we can inspire the next generation to build a future where people and nature thrive!
Aqua Bugs: Age 8+
This apps helps solve aquatic insect identification mysteries with a few simple questions. The insect will be identified and the use will see a gallery of photographs and a brief description of its key features.
iNaturalist: Age 10+
Social networking tool that allows users to identify record their observations of living things by way of taking photos and appending GPS coordinates to their discoveries. Users can also contribute their photos and data and participate in citizen science projects.
Project Learning Tree:
Project Learning Tree provides a useful list of app recommendations for Elementary school and Middle/High school.
SEEK by iNaturalist:: Age 4+
Use the power of image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals around you. Earn badges and complete challenges as you explore the world around you.
World Wildlife Federation WWF Free Rivers: Age 10+
This augmented reality experience lets you explore how rivers flow through the lives of people and wildlife and how that flow impacts their existence.
To find dates and registration information for our upcoming professional development opportunities, visit the Center for the Advancement of STEM Education’s Teachers page.
Semester Long Courses
NSCI 521: Watersheds course at Bridgewater State University is a fall semester interdisciplinary course training teachers to use watershed assessment, water quality monitoring, and biomonitoring as tools in environmental education promoting watershed stewardship. Teachers participating in a project through NSCI 521 receive 4 graduate credits.
Nationally Recognized Professional Development Programs
Project WET is a hands-on workshop that focuses on global water issues. Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide 2.0, released in Sept.15, 2011, addresses both the most pressing contemporary water issues—such as water-related disasters, water foot-printing and water conservation—and classic water science topics like watersheds, and the chemistry of water. Guide 2.0 offers fun, interactive, science-based activities for students K -12 and is correlated with national standards including NAAEE as well as National Science Education Standards. Workshop participants will receive a copy of the guide along with access to the Discoverwater.org, an interactive web experience that teaches the various roles water plays. In Massachusetts, Project WET is sponsored by Bridgewater State University.
Project WILD & Project Aquatic WILD
Join us for this fun, hands-on workshop that focuses on both the Project WILD and Project Aquatic WILD activity guides. Project WILD/Aquatic WILD are interdisciplinary, conservation, and environmental education programs that emphasize wildlife, aquatic wildlife, aquatic ecosystems, people, and the environment. The program guides contain over 140 activities for educators of youths in grades K-12 that are correlated to the NAAEE guidelines as well National Science Education Standards. Workshop participants will receive copies of each guide, access to the lending materials, and a certificate of completion. In Massachusetts, WILD and Aquatic WILD are sponsored by MassWildlife.
WOW! Wonders of Wetlands!
WOW! Wonders of Wetlands is a hands-on workshop that focuses on wetlands. We will explore the characteristics, functions, and the value of wetlands. Each topic will be illustrated with activities that educators can use with their classes. Each participant will receive a copy of WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands, a nationally acclaimed educators’ guide to wetland education. The WOW! educator’s curriculum guide includes over 50 hands-on activities for grades K-12 that are correlated to the National Science Education Standards. Workshop participants will receive a copy of the guide, access to the lending materials, and a certificate of completion. WOW is sponsored by Environmental Concern.
WOW! Wonders of Wetlands Environmental Literacy Correlations (pdf).
Growing up WILD
Growing Up WILD is a hands-on workshop that focuses on environmental education in early childhood. The activity guide builds on a child’s sense of wonder about nature, and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Through a wide range of activities and experiences, it provides a foundation for developing positive impressions about nature while also building lifelong social and cognitive skills. GUW is correlated to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and the Head Start Domains. Workshop participants will receive a copy of the guide, access to the lending materials, and a certificate of completion. In Massachusetts, Growing Up WILD is sponsored by MassWildlife.
Environmental Experience for Early Childhood (PLT)
Join us for this creative, hands-on workshop that focuses on engaging children in outdoor play and appropriately aged activities. It is specifically designed for educators working with preK-aged students. The topics include exploring nature with all senses, forests through the seasons, and tree habitats. There is also an accompanying music CD that encourages children to sing, dance and get moving. The guide is correlated to national standards for preschool education by NAEYC, Head Start Domains, and NAAEE. Workshop participants will receive a copy of the guide, access to the lending materials, and a certificate of completion. In Massachusetts, PLT is sponsored by Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
On-Site Module Training
Does This Parking Lot Look Green to You?
Participants will learn about the impacts parking lots can have on natural water cycles and how the planning and installation of “Green” Parking lots, called Bio-Retention Systems, are different.
During the workshop, teachers will be given background information about the workings of the “green” parking lot as well as hydrology, water quality parameters, and color-metric assays. You will perform the student procedures and be given the information needed to effectively teach the lesson in your classroom. You will also learn how to perform similar measurements on your own parking lot.
Educators are able to bring their students to the Watershed Access Lab to participate in a 4 hour module called, “Does this Parking Lot Look Green to You?” During the “Green” parking lot module, students will explore the impacts of phosphorus contamination in a parking lot using standard curves and spectrophotometric analysis. Students in the watershed program would learn about impervious surface and the use of low impact design (LID) for improving water quality. We have an LID parking lot here at BSU that we will showcase and explain. The students would then be given a series of standards and unknowns to determine if our LID parking lot is in fact improving water quality. Students will be asked to provide a write up of their experience as well as their conclusions about the effectiveness of the “green” parking lot. In the future, students that have participated in the experience will be able to follow the quality of the water from the bio-retention via the internet with in-line monitoring devices that will determine pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, and temperature as well as samplers that will be used to determine phosphorus and nitrate levels.
If you would like to schedule a class visit for your class to participate in our on-site module, “Does this Parking Lot Look Green to You?" please check our calendar for availability and then contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a visit.
Please note, the calendar is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Please use Google Chrome or Safari.
If you are a trained watershed educator that has attended either the NSCI Watersheds Course at BSU or individual water assessment trainings offered through the Watershed Access Lab and would like to borrow the equipment for use in your field study, please fill out the form and submit at least 2 weeks prior to actual pick up date.
If you have attended a training in one of the national guides, Project WET, Project WILD, Aquatic WILD, WOW, Project Learning Tree, Growing Up WILD or Environmental Experience, and would like to borrow an activity kit, please fill out the form and submit at least 2 week prior to actual pick up date.