What is Adopt-A-Watershed?

Adopt-A-Watershed is an integrated and engaging K-12 science curriculum which uses a local watershed as a focal point for bringing theory into application. The watershed becomes a living laboratory in which students participate in hands-on activities, making science directly applicable and relevant to their lives. Each unit addresses grade level-appropriate science concepts and allows students to undertake field studies, restoration projects, and community action projects in which they apply these concepts. Each unit incorporates math, social science and language arts, as well as science.

Goals of Adopt-A-Watershed:

  • Provide an articulated, thematic, integrated science curriculum.
  • Make science relevant and applicable to studentís lives.
  • Helps students develop a sense of stewardship toward their environment and community.
  • Teach skills for making educated, informed choices regarding responsible resource management.
  • Provide a model of collaboration for solving complex natural resource issues.
  • Encourage an ethic of service.
The following elements make up each watershed unit:
  1. Hands-on, activity- and project-based classroom lessons relating the watershed topic to science concepts appropriate to the science curriculum for that grade level, including cross-curriculum connections such as art, language arts, math and social science.
  2. Long-term field studies during which students directly apply concepts learned in the classroom using standard research techniques. Studies are repeated at specified grade levels so that data, passed on through a computer database, can be compared and changes recognized.
  3. Restoration projects, which help students feel a sense of caring for their watershed.
  4. Community action/public education projects in which students communicate what they have learned about their watershed to their community.
  5. Reflection activities.
Adopt-A-Watershed's implementation model includes:
  1. Partnerships between the schools and agencies, organizations, colleges, industry and members of the community. These partners provide services and technical assistance.
  2. Collaboration between the community and the schools working toward project identification and definition of watershed desired future conditions.
  3. Regional coordinators who provide the communication link between schools and communities.
  4. Teacher training in each curriculum unit.
  5. Telecommunications network linking schools for data comparison and communication.
For more information, see the Trinity County Adopt-A-Watershed Home Page.


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