|Our watershed curriculum
explores the geography of watersheds, and teaches how the different parts of a
Why worry about watersheds? In part, because watersheds are where we live – most obviously in mountainous terrain like West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands. Perhaps more importantly, the watershed – rather than political boundaries - has become the organizing concept underlying environmental assessment and protection efforts at both the local, state and regional levels. This is a logical approach, as most of us "live downstream" from somebody else, and that somebody we are downstream from lives in our watershed. For example, the Chesapeake Bay is "downstream" from West Virginia, and efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay from pollution focus on pollution delivered through watersheds (like the Potomac).
Government agencies increasingly seek to solve problems by working with inclusive citizen's groups known as watershed associations; as the name implies, watershed associations consist of people living within a watershed who have a shared interest in a clean environment. This has created a new and very positive way for citizens to work with and impact government action.
What is a Watershed is a simple Flash narrative, with limited student interaction, about the watershed concept. Paced at the elementary school level, it is found on the Blackboard in the elementary and middle school classrooms. What is a Watershed is an effective introduction to the watershed concept for elementary, middle, and even at the high school students. The idea of using water flowing off the roof of a shed to introduce the watershed concept was based on an experience in the real world where CI staff was in a shed with a bunch of middle school students talking about watersheds - and it started to rain.
|Potomac Watershed Puzzle. This activity, which is found in all of the PHWS classrooms, explores the geography of watersheds, a dominant feature of West Virginia's mountainous landscape. To read or printout Watershed Puzzle's content, click here.|
|Watershed Creator. In this activity, which is found in all of the PHWS classrooms, the user builds a watershed by matching the parts of the watershed with their functions. To read or printout Watershed Creator's content, click here.|
|The water cycle. This activity, which is on the Region of Waterloo website (in California), has a very nice water cycle animation that introduces the way water moves through a watershed. Click here. --> Click on "hydrologic cycle" to access.|
|Web Scavenger Hunts. The user visits websites from around the region to find answers to questions about West Virginia's Potomac Highlands. Available on each classroom's blackboard.|
Links for "What is a Watershed"
WV Division of Environmental Protection - Watershed Assessments
WV Division of Environmental Protection - Watershed Management Framework
EPA’s Watershed Information Network
USGS Water Science for Schools
Groundwater Foundation Kids Corner
How to Conserve Water in the Bathroom