Are you a DIY-er?

Download the FREE project overview for a summary of each lesson and enough information to get started on your own.

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Can students improve water quality for our planet?

Water is essential for life. All living things depend upon it. Yet every day, our actions contribute to pollution that is detrimental to our waterways—and ultimately our watersheds. In this project, students will take action to protect our watersheds. They will investigate water samples to determine what’s in their water, and investigate ways to improve water quality. Then, they’ll share what they’ve learned by creating a fundraiser to raise money for a charity that focuses on improving water quality and water pollution issues.

Imagine if the actions we take now to protect our watersheds resulted in cleaner and more sustainable waterways. What a difference this would make for all of Earth’s living creatures!

Project Learning Targets

Lesson 1: Students understand what watersheds are, and why it is important to keep them clean.

Lesson 2: Students understand how watersheds relate to their Hydrologic Unit Code.

Lesson 3: Students understand the role of topography in defining watershed boundaries.

Lesson 4: Students understand the process of water sample collection and analysis.

Lesson 5: Students explore the water issues that exist in our world.

Lesson 6: Students collaboratively plan a fundraiser to improve the world.

Lesson 7: Students refine their fundraiser to improve its quality.

Lesson 8: Students work well with others to implement their plan for a fundraiser.

For lesson descriptions, download the project overview.

For K–8 content connections, download the content correlations.

What is included with your project? 

Sample Online Resources
  •  “‘Water’ You Gonna Do about It?” Game 
  •  Cheru’s Journey (YouTube 0:54) 
  •  Hydrological Unit Code Locator 
  •  “Build a Watershed” Activity 
  •  “Water Within Reach” Article 
  •  And so much more! 
Kit Supplies
  • Food Coloring 
  • Pipe Cleaners 
  • Clothes Pins 
  • Glitter 
  • Duct Tape 
  • Oil 
  • Spray Bottles 
  • Garbage Bags 
  • Water Testing Strips
  • English Language Arts: Visual and Oral Information
  • Math: Units of Measure
  • Science: Water and Erosion
  • Social Studies: Freedoms and Responsibilities
  • Social-Emotional Learning: Self-Management and Relationship Skills
  • Meet a Defender 
  • Explore Aquifers with a Wildlife Biologist 
  • Skype a Scientist 
  • Meet and Tweet with the Kings of the Springs 
  • Wrap it Up-and Rap it Out!
Basin Buddies

Use web searches in conjunction with the Hydrologic Unit Code tool to find schools who share your same basin, but who have different watersheds. Write them a letter to inform them about how you share your water.

  • Rules and Routines
  • Risk-Taking and Perseverance

To see a complete list of what’s included in your project, download the project overview.

About the Author

Becky Schnekser

5th Grade Teacher
Cape Henry Collegiate
Norfolk, VA

Each Blue Apple Project Includes:

Are you a DIY-er?

Don’t have time for DIY?

Becky Schnekser

5th Grade Teacher
Cape Henry Collegiate
Norfolk, VA

Hello! I’m Becky Schnekser, a veteran teacher with a passion for field science; bringing the field to the classroom, and classroom to the field. I’m a National Geographic Certified Educator and Trainer, Grosvenor Teacher Fellow, and Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Award winner. In 2018 alone, I traveled to Peru, Galapagos, and the George Washington National Forest to complete field expeditions in order to bring my passion for field science into classrooms worldwide. As a member of these expedition teams, I used the field experience to inform my own classroom instruction, scale and replicate fieldwork with students, as well as to create learning activities for classrooms worldwide through the National Geographic Educator Community. I’m a consultant and curriculum writer for STEM toy companies such as Lego, DEMCO, Sphero, and LittleBits, bringing expert classroom pedagogical insight to the table.