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2016, Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Essential Question: What can you do to improve water in the lakes, rivers, and streams in your watershed? Do you know of water in your area where fishing or swimming is not allowed or where the water is not safe to drink? Water is a vital natural resource and protecting our water is a national...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
FEMA, American Red Cross, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity lists materials needed (for home and school use) in case of emergency or natural disaster. Following a natural hazard, basic services – electricity, water, gas, telephones – may be cut off for days. Or, you may have to evacuate at a moment’s notice. You probably won’t have time to...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Florida Department of Environmental protection, Florida Community College, Midwest Research Institute (MRI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity guide has been intended to educate students in kindergarten through ninth grade to help them understnd the definition of water pollution using the basic principles of science and mathematics. The activities focus on the four main types of water polutants -- sediments, nutrients,...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Debbie Gammar, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Human activities can have a detrimental effect on animal habitats. People need to be more aware of their actions and the consequences of those actions. In a whole group have the students complete a brainstorm activity on all the information they can recall about river habitats and water...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Thirsty for Knowledge? Let's Learn About Water! Do you know how much water a family of for uses every day in the United States? Not 50 gallons, not 100 gallons, but 400 gallons! You could take up to 10 baths with that much water -- but who would want to do that? Fortunately, there are many...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United Stated Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Similarly, the world's oceans and fresh waters contain dissolved chemicals. Many substances dispersed in air or water are measured in parts per million. Some of these substances are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet even in small quantities they can be...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8
2006, WGBH Educational Foundation, PBS LearningMedia
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this lesson, students explore human impact on water resources, investigate the quality of their commuity's water supply, and consider ways to clean up and avoid further pollution.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Water that accumulates beneath the surface of the Earth is called groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground "rivers," but is actually found in the small spaces and cracks between rocks and other material such as sand and gravel. Groundwater supplies about 38...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Sailors for the Sea
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Sailors for the Sea unites boaters to protect the ocean. Get involved with clean regattas, informative articles on ocean health and habitat, and environental lesson plans for kids.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
United Stated Geological Survey (USGS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

A watershed is an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. Watersheds are studied for their contribution to the health of local water systems; many pollutants from the land make their way into the rivers and streams, exiting into the ocean. This...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

We all know the oceans are salty but so are other sources of water. The oceans have a salinity (salt content) of 35%. The Dead Sea has an average salinity of 290%, almost nine times saltier than the oceans. But what actually does that mean? Just how salty tasting are these various bodies of...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Nebraska Earth Systems Education Network, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Groundwater is contained in the zone of saturation below the land surface. The top of this zone is known as the water table. People can tap into this source of water by drilling wells. The depth of the well and level of the water table greatly influences the wells productivity. In this activity...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4
2012, WestEd
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This module supports students' close reading, modeling, explanation, and argumentation practices while building their knowledge of water resources and pollution. The water investigation materials include an interactive notebook with integrated routines, scaffolds and tasks, and a set of texts...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The five national marine sanctuaries along the West Coast monitor the health of the rocky intertidal ecosystem. One way of doing this is to collect data on the relative abundance of the organisms living in that ecosystem. Since this is such a big task, the national marine sanctuaries are...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Arizona State University
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This hands-on SustainABLE activity is meant to promote conversation about how water is distributed and used, ad how we can work together to conserve this limited resource. In different parts of the country, guests may be familiar with different issues around water. For example, in some areas,...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Event-Based Science Project
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Two activities are provided to help students understand factors affecting the biological health of a harbor as well as what influences oil terminal placement. The first activity helps the student analyze NASA SeaWiFS data in six different harbors. SeaWiFS is NASA's Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity -- in which students test a local water supply -- is designed to be used as an extension to classroom activities related to treating foul water for consumption.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Chemical Society (ACS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

People interact with Earth’s water (hydrosphere) in a variety of ways. We depend upon water for survival, but we also need it to keep clean and help avoid spreading disease. On our ever-changing Earth, the supply of fresh water can be limited for some humans. We need good techniques to make the...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
University California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (UC CEIN)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

"Nano sand" is a product that was originally invented to help clean up oil spills in water. Since the "nano sand" is hydrophobic, it does not let water molecules pass through. It does, however, let oil molecules pass through. When oil-contaminated water is exposed to "magic sand," the oil passes...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Nebraska Earth Systems Education Network, Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Each group will design a water filtration system and present to the class why they picked their design. Students are given a variety of materials (soil, gravel, charcoal, etc) and must try to filter "polluted" (with food coloring, salt, dish soap) water.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Science & Health Education Partnership (SEP)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Students brainstorm different sources of pollution. Then, students make their own miniature ocean inside a water bottle, and pollute it with waste and oil to observe the effects on animals in the water. A demonstration shows students the effect of oil on birds' feathers and discuss the...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Score Four lessons culminate with student-led stormwater-reduction projects—but before students turn one shovel of dirt, they are engaged in hands-on investigations of their school’s watershed and campus. Students assess permeability, stormwater dynamics, pollution sources, soils, and possible...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 10, 9, 11, 12
Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin (ICPRB)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The following educator resources center around ICPRB’s Watershed Connections Land Use Model, which enables students to explore various land uses and impacts on their watersheds. Model-building directions and educator resources can be found below. ICPRB also provides model building workshops for...

Grade Level: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 8, 10, 11, 12
Wikiwatershed.org
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

"Model My Watershed" is a watershed-modeling Web app that enables students to analyze real land use and soil data in their neighborhoods and watersheds. Make science-based predictions of human impacts on stormwater runoff and water quality. 

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Sonoma Technology Inc., HabitatMap
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Air pollution in many parts of the world is harming millions of people, shortening lives, and taking a toll on our ecosystem. Cities in India, China, and even the US frequently exceed air quality standards, and soaring pollution levels put people at risk. To complicate matters, regulatory...

Grade Level: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Scripps Classroom Connection (SCC)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This unit is designed to introduce students to watersheds, computer mapping tools (Google Earth), and ocean currents through a discussion of ocean and water borne pollution. The unit is designed around a 9th grade Earth Science class, and run over three 80 minute class periods. The first lesson...

Grade Level: 9
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This website teaches elementary and middle level students about the importance of water and why we need to conserve it. test their knowledge of water conservation with the WaterSense game, or find simple suggestions for saving water, such as turning off the tap when brushing your teeth; taking...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this Watershed Sleuth Challenge, you will learn more about your watershed - what it is, why its important, and what you can do to protect it, as you earn badges at each level of this three-part course.

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
American Chemistry Council
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This video from the American Chemistry Council highlights some of the ways chemistry is involved in keeping our water supply flowing and our drinking water safe. Did you know that aluminum and chloride salts remove impurities to keep water clean? Or that phosphate-based chemistries and epoxy...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Learning Idea (ELI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Lakes and seas in inland desert areas like the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake are famous for being so salty that hardly anything can live in the water. You can tell they are salty because it is very easy to float in them - and very difficult to swim. But just how salty are they? With this...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

What is a watershed? How do our actions affect the health of a watershed? Students explore these questions by analyzing pictures and identifying watershed features. Students then make a watershed model using a plastic shower curtain, a spray bottle of water and themselves or classroom objects....

Grade Level: 5
United States Geological Survey (USGS), United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Welcome to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and EPA website: Water Science for Schools! Here you can find information on many aspects of water, from what water is, where it is, to how it is used. Topics include a gallery of photographs, graphs, maps and an activity center where you can give...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIH)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

On this website, K-college educators and students can access a table of annotated links describing booklets, fact sheets, interviews with scientists/researchers, lesson plans, videos, and websites promoting awareness and understanding of the connections between human health and the environment....

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
The EnviroLink Network
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The EnviroLink Network is a non-profit organization which has been providing access to thousands of online environmental resources since 1991. Suggest a resource, or browse through resources on topics including: air quality, climate change, ecosystems, energy, environmental science, pollution,...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
High-Adventure Science
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

The High-Adventure Science Water module has 5 activities. In this module you will consider the question: will there be enough fresh water? You will explore the distribution and uses of fresh water on Earth. Explore models of porosity and permeability, run experiments with computational models,...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Written for grades 4-8, this role-play activity from EPA helps students understand how polluted waters affect the food chain and how fish become contaminated -- and thus unsafe to eat -- as pollutants (e.g., chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs) accumulate up the food chain. In...

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

You will create a model of a watershed with paper. By observing how surface water flow is determined by the shape of the land, you will visually and dramatically observe the physical characteristics of a watershed, and investigate the impacts of human land use decisions.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2016, Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Many things contribute to a healthy watershed. Certain land cover types like farm fields, cow pastures, sewage treatment plants and landfills are sources of nutrient and sediment pollution to streams. Rain falling on hot parking lots and rooftops in the summer delivers warm runoff water to...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2016, Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity uses turbidity, pH, phosphate and nitrate readings to help you determine the quality of your water.

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
2016, Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry (ITSI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Engineers are problem solvers! They figure out how to solve problems by coming up with some solutions and trying them out in an organized way. Taking notes throughout their problem-solving process, scientist ask what, how, and why as they work to identify solutions. Using the Earth as a model,...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Destination Education, Inc.
Resource Type: Curriculum Materials

It’s up to each of us to keep the ocean clean and free from pollution. Jack spends his days sailing the sea and taking in nets full of half-dead fish, ignoring the polluted condition of the water. He finds an ailing seal and receives a message from the sea itself about its sorry state. The...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
Resource Type: Curriculum Materials

Posters on coastal hazards, watersheds, hazardous waste, wetlands, water use, wastewater, navigation, groundwater, and water quality. The posters, depicted in cartoon format, are available in full color or black and white JPEG files. They are separated into posters for elementary students (K-5)...

Grade Level: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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Brooks Coal Mine, Colorado, circa 1905
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students will explore their creativity and critical thinking while they imagine a cave environment and create an organism that lives in their cave. Their cave will be one of the types mentioned in the preceding pages, but their organisms will be of their own imagination.

Cave in Carlsbad Caverns
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common...

Cacti in the Sonoran Desert
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students study natural features of Mesa Verde and make conclusions about how early inhabitants settled there.

Mauna Ulu on the east rift of Kilauea. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Traditional geologic maps — sometimes crisscrossed with lines, blotted with colors, and marked with strike and dip symbols — have been used to depict the geologic makeup of the Earth for many years. New technologies such as satellite-enabled remote sensing are allowing geoscientists to create...

Topaz Sample
Classroom Activities
Association of American State Geologists (AASG), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

With this activity from the Association of American State Geologists, students can use local geologic maps to research types of rock in their area.

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