Students investigate the local watershed and work in groups to assess the health of a nearby stream or pond. Students learn techniques for collection biotic and abiotic data of an aquatic ecosystem using a macroinvertebrate survey, chemical analyses, and stream buffer analysis. Food web and food chain concepts are reinforced through identification of the organisms in a stream ecosystem and the environmental impact of various pollutants are discussed.
These lesson materials are designed to supplement and refresh the workshops. Teachers are strongly encouraged to attend a training workshop before teaching the stream/pond study class. We recommend using the resources below, although teachers are welcome to adjust them to fit the needs of their students.
- Stream Study Lesson Plan
- Review existing Smith Center Stream Data using Clean Water Hub: North Branch of Rock Creek, Springs Trail
- Stream Study Flipchart
- Amount of Available Freshwater Demonstrations
- Stream Study Data Collection Sheet (Pages 4 and 5)
- Characteristics of a Healthy Stream
- Macroinvertebrate Identification
Model Lesson on Video - Please use this video to help teachers review before teaching the lesson at their school's Outdoor Environmental Education Program. It does not take the place of attending an initial in-person training.
Suggested Indoor Alternatives:
- Indoor Stream Study
- Sum of the Parts(from Project Wet!)
- Bottom Dwellers(Indoor MacroInvertebrate Study)
- Freshwater Ecology Unit from Stroud Water Research Center
Possible Back at School In Class Stream Study Resources:
- Critter Cubes- Materials for loan from Smith Center
- Potomac Highland Watershed School- Interactive Web Resource with macroinvertebrate sampling, macroinvertebrate identification, simulations, and summaries.