Watershed Science for Educators (AWESome!)

GENERAL OVERVIEW: Since 1997 WPWA has offered a course for educators that provides information, resources, and activities concerning watersheds based on the Active Watershed Educations (AWESome!) curriculum developed by the Southern Rhode Island Conservation District. Participants in these courses are able to receive 3-graduate level credits through the URI College of Continuing Education Special Courses Program, if they choose. Offered every other year, WPWA and its partners seek funding to cover all expenses so that teachers and other educators can learn how to teach this valuable topic for free. The course includes guest speakers who are local experts in their fields of soil, water quality, climate change or social history.

Teachers are in the water with nets to catch fish stunned by electro fish shocker.

The 2011 Spring Course Watershed Science for Educators has 21 participants from around the state, including formal and informal educators. This course is a cooperative program with several partners. The Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA) is a co-sponsor who helped develop the grant from RI Rivers Council and provides in-classroom support. The RI Department of Environmental Management, Aquatic Education Program is also helping out with the course by providing posters and other printed material, and copying as needed. WPWA and NRPA received funding for the course from the RI Water Resource Board through the RIRC grant and from the Lattner Family Foundations. Because of this generous support WPWA and NRPA are able to offer the program for free and at the same time provide curriculum guides and classroom materials. In addition, with the Lattner grant we will be funding up to 10 mini-grants for participants to use for field trip supplies or buses.

During the 10 classes educators learn about the geology, soils, hydrology, biology, and social history of their local watersheds, often by participating in activities they could use in their own classrooms. In addition they attend two field trips; one on point and non-point sources of pollution and one on water qualtiy sampling (pictured above).

2011 Presentations by students as part of their oral presentation requirment

Presentations by guest speakers

Other 2011 presentations and resources

2007 and 2009 Course Final Papers, identified by grade levels (ES=Elemetary School, MS=Middle School, HS=High School) and topics

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