The Watershed Ecologists in Training (WET) program is a project- and inquiry-based curriculum (9 classroom lessons and 3 field trips) that develops environmental stewardship in 5th-12th grade students by drawing connections between human actions and their ecological impacts on marine ecosystems. The goal of WET is for students and teachers to become more ocean savvy by increasing their knowledge of estuaries and watersheds, and how these ecosystems affect their daily lives and vise versa. Throughout this program, teachers and students will learn that marine environments, and the freshwater systems that flow into them, act as buffers to improve water quality, reduce the effects of floodwaters, prevent erosion, and provide habitat for many species. Participants also learn how coastal areas are valuable to humans in forms of recreation, scientific knowledge, and resources. From the source to Puget Sound, students will explore watershed connections through hands-on activities, service-projects, student-driven field investigations, data analysis, and creating interpretive signs! Students will practice a multi-faceted approach to ecological science and participate in activities such as authentic research and peer review to take on the same tasks of a career scientist.
WET students first engage in hands-on, inquiry-based lessons on local watersheds, water quality and marine ecosystems to provide a more complete picture of watershed dynamics and the health of their local watershed. Students then carry out a service-learning project, in which they help to enhance salmon habitat by planting trees they have picked out themselves along a local waterway. WET students finally travel to the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to explore marine ecosystems and later return to conduct a self-designed field investigation!
WET increases participating students fundamental understanding of their surrounding marine and freshwater ecosystems, the roles they play in the health of these ecosystems, and how to address the pressing problems facing Puget Sound through scientific understanding through investigation. Ultimately, WET contributes to the development of a new generation of environmentally responsible community members!
The Task Force will be working with five classrooms from Everett High School in Everett School District, four 7th grade classrooms from Centennial Middle School in Snohomish School District, and four 5th grade classrooms at English Crossing Elementary in Lakewood School district for the 2010/11 school year.
Funding for WET is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Bay-Watershed Education and Training Grant Program. Other funders include the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the First Heritage Bank Employees Giving Fund.
Partners include Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, AmeriCorps/Washington Service Corps, Snohomish County Surface Water Management and People for Puget Sound.
- Watersheds pre-lesson lesson plan
- Watersheds pre-lesson student worksheet
- There is No Point to this Pollution lesson plan (adapted from Healthy Waters Healthy People)
- There is No Point to this Pollution student worksheet
- There is No Point to this Pollution Fish Kill Article
- There is No Point to this Pollution Watershed Map – Snohomish
- There is No Point to this Pollution Watershed Map – Stillaguamish
- Choosing Native Plants for your Restoration Project – Student Worksheet
- Choosing Native Plants for your Restoration Project – Plant Guide
- How do trees affect erosion? A controlled investigation
- How do trees affect erosion? A controlled investigation (Answer Key)
- How do trees affect erosion? Student Worksheet
- Designing an Erosion Experiment (secondary level students)
- Salmon – student worksheet
- Salmon – Answer key
- Salmon – lifecycle and 4 Hs info
- Pre-Watershed Fieldtrip student worksheet (secondary level students)
- Watershed Tour Fieldtrip – elementary
- Watershed Tour Fieldtrip – secondary
- Introduction to the Intertidal Powerpoint (based on Padilla Bay’s curriculum)
- Introduction to the Intertidal – student worksheet
- Invent an Intertidal Animal
- Estuaries as a System – information sheet (used for students to create a systems diagram)
- Estuaries as a System – student worksheet (used AFTER creation of systems diagram)
- Estuaries Alive – fieldtrip worksheet
- Padilla Bay Low Tide Exploration Fieldtrip Worksheet – elementary
- Padilla Bay Low Tide Exploration Fieldtrip Worksheet – secondary
- Would You Like a Sample (NOAA)
- Fieldtrip Reflection, Recording Patterns and Questions – worksheet
- Designing Field Research – worksheet