New Environmental Education Curriculum "Focus On Water" Announced In California

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The Web of Life Field School (WOLF) has created a set of activities designed to teach students about watersheds and conservation through scientific water testing

Students testing turbidity at Scott's Creek, California

"The drought in California gives us an opportunity to empower our students to how small actions can have a big effect in saving water," says Heather Butler, Director of the WOLF School.

During the 2015-2016 school year, an environmental education school in Northern California, the Web of Life Field School (WOLF), is introducing Focus On Water, a new set of outdoor science curriculum activities highlighting watersheds and conservation. This curriculum will be offered to students and teachers attending the WOLF’s Outdoor Science School Programs. At these “Science Camp” programs, children in grades K-12 come to live and learn in the redwoods at one of the WOLF campuses in Northern California. Teachers can choose to focus on one or more academic areas from WOLF’s standards-based NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) curriculum.

Focus On Water activities teach students about watersheds and the water cycle, allowing students to do scientific water testing in local creeks, share their conclusions, and discover ways they can positively influence their local watersheds. Kids work as a group to explore the flora and fauna of the redwoods, take time to measure redwood heights and diameters, learn about pollution, discuss how water affects the web of life, and explore conservation issues.

Manzanita Charter School students from Richmond, California piloted the Focus On Water curriculum as part of the Redwood Trees to Coastal Seas program in May 2015. Fifty students, teachers, and chaperones spent four days investigating the creeks, water testing, studying the redwoods, completing a beach cleanup, and even enjoying a night hike. One student noted before the program that she thought water came from the “sink or store,” but after the program wrote that water “start(s) from snow on mountains, passes by creeks, then is collected and purified,” before coming to the house. The students’ teacher commented after the trip, “I can say- no doubt - that you all serve our students academically, socially, and emotionally. I am really grateful for the trip and I know all of the kids are as well!”

"The drought in California gives us an opportunity to empower our students to save water," says Heather Butler, Director of the WOLF School.

The WOLF School is an environmental education program of United Camps, Conferences and Retreats. Little Basin Cabins and Campground in Boulder Creek, CA serves as the home base for the WOLF School.

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Tina Heck

Lauren Donnelly-Crocker
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