KC Water can provide age appropriate water quality education for your students based on your needs. Below are descriptions of lessons available and the approximate age appropriateness for each. All lessons can be modified and used at various ages and all target grade-level standards. (Standard alignments are available upon request.) Lessons generally take 45-60 minutes and all lessons are provided free of charge.
Students participate in the story of Freddy the Fish and his journey from Kansas City to the ocean. As Freddy encounters human activities along the way that are polluting his stream, students add various substances to the water to represent different kinds of pollution. At the end of the story, students discuss how water must be cleaned before humans can drink it, and what they can do to keep pollution out of creeks, streams, and rivers.
Students become familiar with the most common types of trash found on the ground in the Kansas City area and how stormwater carries that trash to the nearest creek or stream. A quick tour of the school grounds to point out storm drains and slope is conducted, followed by student partners using data sheets to tally the types of trash they observe on the ground. Back in the classroom, students add up the tallies, find an average, and create a bar graph to show the comparisons of the types of trash found around their school property. The lesson concludes with a discussion of why it is so important to keep trash off the ground and what they can do to teach others about the problems of trash on the ground.
“The Journey of Stormwater – From KC to the Sea” is aligned with Missouri Core Curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards. Through up to five interactive and fun lessons, the students learn how precipitation moves through a watershed, how stormwater runoff becomes contaminated by point and non-point source pollutants, and how best management practices (BMPs) improve the quality and reduce the quantity of stormwater that enters our creeks, streams, and rivers. The final day allows the students to create a public service announcement to encourage others to follow BMPs to protect and improve our water quality here in Kansas City. (1-5 lessons)The Curriculum
Teacher Training Workshops
- A Teacher’s Guide with lesson ideas, material requirements, and vocabulary
- Student worksheets for each lesson
- Non-Point Source Pollution Flash Cards for up to four teams
- BMP Bingo cards for each student
- A flash drive with PowerPoint presentations, educational videos, and examples of past student projects
Each teacher that is new to the program will receive one day of free curriculum training that includes:
- An overview of the curriculum by lesson
- Core Curriculum and Next Generation Science Standard correlations
- Ideas for student participation
In a stream, organisms have interconnecting relationships, so if one is harmed, all may suffer. The quality of water affects the diversity and abundance of life. Oxygen level, temperature, acidity (pH), presence of metals, salinity, and amount of silt and organic matter are some of the many factors that affect a stream’s water quality. Human activities can also affect all these factors. Rains wash toxic chemicals, bacteria, organic matter, and soil from land surfaces. Through Macro Monitoring lesson(s), students learn to identify aquatic organisms living in creeks and streams. They then collect and/or analyze samples of macroinvertebrates to determine if their stream is healthy or polluted. (1-2 lessons)If students are not able to go to a water site:
A PowerPoint presentation introduces students to how benthic macroinvertebrates (water bugs) are used to determine water quality. They learn about the general characteristics of macros, how they are an important part of many food chains, and what a healthy macro habitat looks like. Connections are made as to how stormwater runoff negatively impacts these habitats. Macroinvertebrate samples are brought to the classroom and set up in stations around the room. Students rotate through the stations to identify the macro samples and use a data sheet to calculate the points for the macros they were able to identify. The lesson concludes with a discussion about the possible presence of pollution and what people can do to help improve water quality in the KC metro area.If students are able to go to a water site:
This activity is set up so that students go through the power point presentation and macro stations (mentioned above) before they go to a water site. At the water site, students use nets to collect macroinvertebrates, sort samples into ice trays, and use identification charts to classify what they have found. Students then use the data sheet to calculate the stream’s water quality based on the macros they were able to find and identify. At the conclusion of the lesson, students discuss the possible presence of pollution in the water and how that impacts the quality and quantity of macros found at that site. KC Water provides all necessary equipment and supplies for this activity.
KC Water understands the importance of educating our future generations on the careers that are available after high school or college. Our staff includes people with diverse education backgrounds in the fields of engineering, science, architecture, finance, equipment operation, skilled labor, and customer service. We can send a single staff member to speak about his or her job, bring out some of our equipment for your students to view, or bring a panel of staff to answer student questions.