Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Watersheds Wednesday...

Our school division in partnership with Friends of the Rappahannock have offered Watershed Wednesdays for our fourth grade students.  It is a really neat program - the director, Cassie Pallai, brings four pre-service teachers from the University of Mary Washington to lead the students in four watershed activities. These students are doing their practicum for George Meadows' class on Science Education.  He is a real proponent of hands-on, quality science teaching!!

 I hope to share with you a few of these activities over the next few weeks.

Here is the first one...Interactive Watershed

It started with a beautiful sheet painted to show many different land use scenarios such as shopping, schools, factories, neighborhoods, roads, farms....and streams, creeks and rivers...which led to the Chesapeake Bay - our main watershed.

She had great signs that student volunteers held up as they stepped onto the map to represent the different areas.  We talked about types of pollutions get into the soil from each place - chemicals, liter, oil, gas, animal wastes, too much dirt, trash...etc...

As she mentioned each type of pollutant, the students dropped pieces of orange construction paper on the sheet as a visual representation. She shook the sheet and the pollutants ended up in the Bay...just as they would in real life.
Next, she added a riparian buffer to the watersheds. Riparian buffers are plants and trees purposefully planted along the shoreline.  These buffers hold back the soil, pollutants and keep the shorelines healthy.

Next the students put the pollutants down and sure enough...there was less pollutants in the water!!!

A very cool visual!

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