Educators aNd students
Teaching and learning why clean stormwater matters to the future.
Salt Lake County Stormwater Coalition understands that teaching children and youth about responsible stormwater management is one of the most effective ways to impact positive stormwater quality now and for years to come.
In addition to supporting students and educators through educational resources (below), the Coalition hosts an annual 4th Grade Water Quality Fair that provides students with exposure, practices, activities, and insight about how to keep stormwater clean.
Each year, 2,000-3,000 4th grade students from throughout Salt Lake County schools participate in the event and learn about stormwater clean, because what goes down the storm drain is untreated.
At the event, students visit zoo exhibits and 10 educational booths, allowing them to explore various aspects of water quality, a vactor truck, watershed education, recycling, landfill practices, water safety, and back-flow prevention.
The Water Quality Fair is one of the educational components of the overall Salt Lake County stormwater management plan. Other education components include: use of the character “Droplet” and “We All Live Downstream” campaign. There are also more technical components, such as each city’s overall stormwater plan and mitigation of unintentional, and perhaps uniformed damage by developers, as cities become more and more urbanized.
Resources for Stormwater Education
4th Grade Water Quality Fair
Every Spring, Salt Lake County Stormwater Coalition hosts 3,000+ 4th Graders at Utah Hogle Zoo to learn about stormwater management.
Utah State University Extension- Stream Side Science- (same lesson plans are also available on Utah Education Network). This site includes lessons by topic, grade and core assignment. Also available: local watershed information, photos and videos, program assessments, and teacher workshops & materials.
Nature Conservancy Nature Works Everywhere: Sustainable Urban Design: Educator’s Toolkit for Project-Based Learning
University of North Carolina- Stormwater for Educators- Resources include stormwater basics, grade specific activities, information for students/educators, homeowners and professionals. Although information is North Carolina specific, several activities/concepts are high quality and may be adapted for students in any setting.
US EPA Polluted Runoff Resources for Teachers- Elementary resources include 7 experiments with Darby Duck, the Aquatic Crusader, and articles and activities for middle school students, including information about Streams in the city and stopping pointless personal pollution.
Water Quality Education Resources
Featured at this years Water Quality Fair, the Utah Division of Water Quality Stream Trailer, in cooperation with Utah State University Extension. The stream trailer is a hands-on educational tool that allows students to examine the natural movement of streams and rivers. The stream trailer contains a large flat "land area" composed of plastic grit. Water is pumped through the trailer to create a "stream" that moves along the length of the trailer.
The stream trailer can be used to demonstrate how natural streams are formed, the importance of streamside (riparian) vegetation to protect the banks, impacts of dams, flooding, development and also how slope, flow and structure affect stream formation.
Lesson plans or demonstrations for the stream trailer
Stream Trailer Instructional Videos (USU Water Quality Extension)
Stream Trailer Demonstrations (Oklahoma State)
Stream Table Investigations that can be adapted to use with the stream trailer (Hubbard Scientific)
UTAH EDUCATION NETWORK 4th Grade Science Standard 1: Students will understand that water changes state as it moves through the water cycle. Objective 1: Describe the water cycle. Lesson plans include: A Drop in the Bucket, All Washed Up, Water Cycle and Water World Story
WATER WONDERS- Lesson Plan- grades 4-8. This activity will introduce students to the various steps of the water cycle and to the various paths water can take. They will also make connections between the water cycle and all living things.
U.S. EPA- Students of all grade levels can learn much more about the ways the water cycle affects the environment at the EPA's Water Sourcebook Series website. This resource features activities, fact sheets, reference materials, and more.
FRANKLIN INSTITUTE- Water in the City website can help to broaden students' understanding of water and the continuous, global water cycle. This resource covers the "Water Basics" and science of water and also presents an analysis of Philadelphia's water system and case studies on waterways throughout the world.
U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) WATER SCIENCE SCHOOL. We offer information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge.
The University of Nebraska- Lincoln has a wide variety of activities, such as having students write and produce a Stormwater PSA, make a watershed model or build a rain barrel that can be downloaded and used with the Stormwater Sleuth comic book or on their own. They are designed for students from 4th - 6th grades, but may be appropriate for other ages as well.
In the classroom or at home: EPA Stormwater challenge crossword- placemat (best if printed on 11 x 17 size paper)
Salt Lake County Stormwater Coalition believe that "We All Live Downstream" meaning that we each have the opportunity to participate in keeping the water that goes down the storm drain free from grass clippings, fertilizers, trash, pet waste, and other foreign objects. Only rain should go down the storm drain.