Wanna Be Surprised?

Science and a Sense of Place
Watershed Education
for K-12 Students

Catherine Riihimaki is a post-doc and Kaitlin Friedman '07 is an undergraduate in the Geology Department at Bryn Mawr College. They developed hands-on environmental studies activities for a 2006 Summer Institute for K-12 teachers. Serendip is pleased to make these activities available to a wider audience.

need here a short paragraph describing why do this (Cath. had a nice ppt. she started the day w/, which i seem to remember having a good rational for why this is a great place/way to be teaching...maybe snatch some language from that...??

Raindrop Rollplay

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Drainage basins and watersheds are abstract concepts, and therefore often hard for students to fully understand. One of the biggest problems is scale: typically the examples of watersheds presented to students are huge (e.g., the Mississippi basin, the Chesapeake basin, etc.). This activity is designed to be small in scale so the students can see an entire drainage basin at once. Because it involves the students moving around, it also gets the blood flowing at the beginning of class.

Vital Signs:
Assessing the health of the ponds and streams in your watershed

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In the same way that doctors and nurses use vital signs like temperature and blood pressure to determine whether their patients are healthy, scientists use a variety of physical, chemical, and biological indicators to determine the environmental condition of a watershed. To "diagnose" this condition, there are three big questions we can ask:
(1) How do the vital signs change over time and space?
(2) How do our measurements compare with what we would expect to find?
(3) What could be causing these changes and/or deviations from our expectations?

A Sense of Scale and Interconnectedness

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Additional Resources:

need description here, as in two other labs above, explaining not "objectives" but more largely why you might want to do this...


Teachers are encouraged to copy and modify these labs for use in their teaching.
If you have any comments or would like additional information, please contact Catherine Riihimaki at criihima@brynmawr.edu.
© 2006 by Dr. Catherine Riihimaki and Bryn Mawr College Geology Department.

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