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Investigating Watersheds: From the Mountains to the River Basin

A Professional Development Institute for Grades 3-8 Educators

Explore the pathway that water takes as it enters and travels through your local watershed! Investigate first-hand how important our watersheds are, and what it takes to protect them as we visit mountain, forest, river, and stream habitats.  At the Mount Greylock Visitor Center experience DRC’s watershed education programming for middle students and explore forests that protect Berkshire watersheds. Investigate benthic macroinvertebrates and the stream ecology system of the Hoosic River watershed. Learn how you can engage your students in your local Trout Unlimited’s Chapter’s water quality monitoring and trout habitat restoration program. Participate in water quality testing with the Berkshire Environmental Action Team and experience ways to scale this testing to be used in your classroom. The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) is the watershed organization for the Housatonic River.  Examine some of the key issues that the HVA is working on to support and improve water quality and the health of the watershed for all, including ways that communities use green infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff before it enters the watershed as pollution. Collaborate with faculty at the Berkshire Science Commons at Berkshire Community College, who will support you as you design investigations about citizen science and water quality monitoring. Throughout the course, instructors will weave pedagogy through the science content, highlighting ways to shift your lessons towards inquiry, incorporate the Science & Engineering Practices, and implement phenomena-based units. You’ll leave the course with investigations to bring your new science and engineering knowledge into your classroom!

  • Investigate benthic macroinvertebrates and stream ecology.
  • Participate in water quality testing.
  • Design ways to engage your students in citizen science.
  • Participate in content and skill-based development sessions aimed at strengthening your students’ interest in and passion for STEM.
  • Visit partner organization sites and engage in inquiry investigations or field work.
  • Discover resources from museums, science centers, and higher education institutes in your community that you can utilize throughout the year.
  • Enrich your teaching toolbox with science investigations that meet the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework and NGSS Standards.
  • Earn Professional Development Points (PDPs) while you improve your confidence in teaching science, and even take an institute for graduate credit.

Collaborating Partners:

Housatonic Valley Association

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Mount Greylock Visitor Center

Berkshire Environmental
Action Team

Hoosic River
Watershed Association