Conservation on the Ground –
Watersheds in the Classroom
by Paul Kennedy, Cawaco RC&D Coordinator, Birmingham, AL
Students from Whatley Elementary School in
Birmingham, Alabama, are participating in the
Watershed Science After School Program,
which is sponsored by the Clean Water
Partnership. A grant from the Cawaco Resource
Conservation and Development (RC&D)
Council made it all possible. The program is a
science enrichment program that provides
opportunities to elementary and middle schools
students who would not have access to the
traditional Clean Water Partnership activities.
The program primarily serves elementary boys
and girls (grades 4-8) who attend high-need
elementary and middle schools.
The program was developed to counter the
trend of students who tend to lose interest in
science during elementary/middle school years.
A second objective is to raise the awareness of
the importance of clean water in local
Students learn to appreciate the significance of
water quality in their own communities.
The curriculum for the program is made up of inquiry-based lab and field activities compiled
from many resources of already developed programs in Alabama, such as—What’s in Your
Water, The Legacy Water Source Book, Project Aquatic Wild, Project Wet, and The Isaac
Walton League. Through the use of LaMotte-Alabama Water Watch field testing equipment,
the program provides students with experience in water quality assessment and monitoring.
In order to become informed citizens, and, perhaps to pursue careers in science, students
need to have a sound science background. The Watershed Science After School Program is
designed to renew and keep alive the joy of inquiry, analysis, and discovery, which are the
foundation of science and critical skills needed to prepare students for the future.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin,
age, disability, an