Watershed Adventures Program
Watershed Adventures was taught to 4th grade classes in Alameda County for 16 years. The program combined science and art to build awareness and understanding of local creeks and watersheds, their unique ecosystems, and ways we can care for them. We are currently working on our revised program, Watershed Protectors, that we are hoping to pilot in Spring 2011. Please check back for more details, and see below for more information on the core concepts of watershed conservation that we teach through our programs.
Why do students need to learn about watersheds?
Because we all live in a watershed, an area of land that water flows over or through on its way to a common water body such as a creek, lake, bay or ocean. Watersheds need protection because clean water is important for healthy ecosystems that all living things are a part of, including wildlife and people. Students can help make a difference in their watershed by learning the facts about the sanitary sewar system and the storm drain system, and discover how they can help prevent pollution right in their own neighborhood.
The Watershed Adventures program includes TWO 75 minute, in-class presentations given one week apart:
Presentation 1: Watershed Explorers
Presenters use a wide variety of exciting teaching strategies to involve students in learning about watersheds, the creek nearest their school and specific actions they can take in their neighborhoods to help keep water clean and healthy for people and wildlife.
During the presentation students will:
- View a short film titled "Adventures in the Watershed Starring Mr. Ball"
- Map their neighborhood creek in their Watershed Explorer's Guide activity booklet
- Find sources of pollution and see their effects at a model watershed with a "real" creek
- Participate in a hands-on storm water pollution activity
- Be "Pollution Detectives"
- Enter the T-Shirt Art Contest
Presentation 2: Watershed Expressions
Conducted by an artist one week later, this presentation expands on the previous lessons through an art activity in which students:
- Create a watercolor/oil pastel resist painting of a fish in its habitat
- Use their imagination and knowledge to add special features to the fish that allow it to withstand various pollutants, including oils, chemicals, sediments, trash and pet waste
- Knowing that fish can’t really protect themselves from pollution, students write a pledge to their fish explaining how they will take steps to care for their creeks and watersheds, as well as the San Francisco Bay
- Students will share their fish and pledge with the class
Watershed Adventures Educator’s Guide
Teachers will receive a copy of the Educator’s Guide three weeks before their Watershed Explorers presentation. The Guide contains details about the two classroom presentations, additional watershed-related classroom activities, suggestions for "Take Action" watershed stewardship projects and other teacher and student references and resources.
Download the Watershed Adventures Flyer for the 09-10 school year.
Click here to view the Adventures in the Watershed Starring Mr. Ball, the short film viewed during the Explorer's Presentation.
For more information on scheduling a presentation at your school, please read the WAP Scheduling Information document.
To contact us about scheduling a presentation complete the information below or call Watershed Adventures at 925-371-0154 ext 412.
Watershed Adventures is funded by the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District and the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program as a way to encourage watershed stewardship throughout the County.