Freshwater Science Resources
Whether it’s for citizen science or your students’ projects we have a library of field equipment and classroom models available for rental. Exploring what your watershed has to offer is a great way to foster stewardship and create connections for your students about their actions and the health of our environment.
K-12 Lessons, activities, and Equipment
Make your own Watershed Activity
In this activity, students will use craft materials to make a simple 3D model to demonstrate the flow of water across Earth’s surface. Great for grades 2nd to 6th. Check at the bottom of this page for a download link.
Enviroscape Watershed Model
The Enviroscape Watershed model is a tabletop plastic landscape where students are able to experience first-hand how nonpoint source pollution is created and moves into streams via stormwater runoff. This visually striking model is a great complement to any unit on watersheds, pollution, or a great standalone activity for fairs, festivals, or workshops geared towards K-12 students.
WMEAC has two Enviroscape Watershed models available for rental.
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Sampling Equipment
Aquatic macroinvertebrates are simple and engaging indicators of the health of a stream. Are you interested in collecting your own sample of aquatic organisms at your local stream? WMEAC can provide your classroom or citizen scientist project with high quality field equipment to get the job done. We have heavy-duty canvas lined dip-nets for collecting insects and other organisms from stream banks, seine nets for easy 2-person collection as well as buckets and aerators to keep your sample fresh while identifying or using it as a classroom display.
Sampling equipment is subject to availability during our Teach for the Watershed seasons (March – June and Sept – Oct)
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Identification Kit
Aquatic macroinvertebrates are simple and engaging indicators of the health of a stream. WMEAC’s Macro ID Kit includes the essential tools used to sort and identify collected aquatic organisms. Each kit includes an easy-to-use macroinvertebrate ID key, two sample tubs, two ice cube trays for sorting, and a variety of hand tools to handle the specimens (forceps, spoons, aquarium nets, pipettes).
WMEAC has two Macroinvertebrate Identification Kits available for rental.
Freshwater Chemistry Kit
This simple chemistry kit is used to determine several chemical properties of a sample of freshwater. Equipment includes a thermometer, turbidity column, and easy-to-use LaMotte TesTabs for dissolved oxygen, pH, phosphates and nitrates. Each test includes instruction cards, sample vials, and results cards.
WMEAC has one Water Chemistry Kit available for rental. The kit contains chemical tablets for 5 tests of each parameter listed above. Additional chemical tests are available upon request.
External Resources and Partners
Find my Watershed Online Tool
Explore the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds’ (LGROW) online map to determine what subwatershed of the Lower Grand River you might live, work, or learn in! Simply enter your address and be transported to your local watershed.
This tool is a great way for students to learn how their subwatershed fits into the lower Grand River as a whole. Click on each of the subwatershed shapes on the map to get connected with local organizations that are working to keep our watersheds clean and free of pollution.
Check it out here at lgrow.org/watershedmap
Digital Atlas of Common Freshwater Macroinvertebrates in Eastern North America
This digital database of freshwater macroinvertebrates is an amazing resource for your classroom or citizen science efforts to monitor water quality. This project, Learning to See, Seeing to Learn, is brought to you by Carnegie Mellon Museum of Natural history. It contains high quality scans of insects, snails, clams, and much more.
In addition to information about habitat, feeding habits, and pollution tolerance, this database highlights the key characteristics of each specimen to hone your identification skills.
Check it out here: macroinvertebrates.org
Michigan Clean Water Corps
The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) is a network of volunteer water quality monitoring programs in Michigan. They provide training and resources for citizen scientists interested in collecting freshwater macroinvertebrates, assessing riparian zones of streams, and collecting valuable biological data on our Michigan bodies of water.
Check them out here: micorps.net
Schrems West Michigan Trout Unlimited
Trout Unlimited is a national organization that supports restoration and conservation of North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. The Shrems West Michigan Chapter hosts a variety of community events such as cleanups and restoration projects. As well as K-12 education programs focused on the sport of trout fishing throughout our West Michigan watersheds.
Check them out here: swmtu.org
Free Lessons and Materials
These activities are a part of our Teach for the Watershed program are appropriate for 5th – 12th grades to use to discover the quality of a freshwater stream.