WaterWays

In this program, RHA comes to you.  We conduct a series of classroom-based science lessons and then take students outdoors to study the water in a nearby stream or river.
Student Learning to Test Water Quality

Classroom-based science labs and on-the-water studies allow students to become citizen scientists as they learn about stream ecology

Featuring in-class and in-field environmental education sessions, the program is designed for students in grades 3 through 12. Led by trained educators affiliated with RHA, the program fosters students’ appreciation for the natural world from the tiniest “bug” that lives in the bottom of their neighborhood stream to the larger ecosystem supported by the watershed in which they live. Connecting kids to the natural world, the program provides students with the tangible and personal experience of discovering “hidden” aquatic life while conducting in-field observations and experiments, the results of which can be used to form a hypothesis in a real life science project directly related to the community in which they live. The classroom and field experiences promote a sense of stewardship for the environment and an understanding of the ways that human behavior can positively or negatively impact natural systems.

The In-Class Sessions

Three half-hour in-class sessions take place at your school (1 1/2 hours total). Topics include:

  • Watersheds (1/2 hour) Through a hands-on activity, students learn what watersheds are, how they function and why they are important.
  • Groundwater (1/2 hour) Using a Groundwater Model, students learn about the importance of groundwater, how it moves through the earth and how it can become polluted.
  • Macroinvertebrates (1/2 hour) A hands-on presentation teaches students what macroinvertebrates are and how they can be used to assess water quality. Students learn to identify macroinvertebrates by using a dichotomous key and preserved specimens.
  • Chemicals (High School Only) Students learn to conduct tests for pH, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, nitrate, and turbidity to determine water quality.

Pricing: $80 for up to 30 students (1 educator provided). Call for exact pricing based on the number and size of classes at your school.

The In-Field Program

Two in-field sessions are provided at a stream site near your school (2 1/2 hours total). Activities include:

  • Site Survey Students make observations and take notes on the habitat and land uses both in and surrounding the stream site. Air and water temperature are measured and recorded, as are stream width, depth, and velocity.
  • Macroinvertebrate Collection Students learn how to collect macroinvertebrates using a large kick net. They then identify the collected macroinvertebrates using a dichotomous key and calculate the water quality at the stream site.
  • Chemicals (High School Only) Students conduct pH, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, nitrate, and turbidity tests with the stream water to determine water quality.

Pricing: $95 for up to 15 students (1 educator provided), $190 for up to 30 students (2 educators provided). Call for exact pricing based on the number and size of classes at your school.

For more information, please contact RHA’s Director of Stewardship and Education Lauren Theis at ltheis@raritanheadwaters.org.