Our first workshop focused on our watershed, the issues impacting the quality of our waters, and the changes we can make in our daily lives to reduce that impact. The second workshop was all about the City’s initiative to reduce stormwater through “Green City, Clean Waters,” and how the Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) tools available to manage runoff work.
Each workshop consisted of a brief tour. The group was led through the grounds of Friends Hospital towards Tacony Creek on a cloudy, rainy day, allowing everyone to see the conditions of the stream during a rain event, and how surface runoff impacts water flow and clarity. The second workshop toured the Big Green Block and the grounds of the Kensington CAPA High School, the first LEED Platinum public high school in the nation. The site showcases various GSI tools including: green roofs, rain gardens and porous pavement.
After the tours, watershed and GSI related subjects were demonstrated through fun, hands-on educational activities. You can easily recreate each lesson at home or in a classroom sing affordable materials such as paper and markers, which visually aid in understanding how our watershed works. These activities included: making and drawing a watershed; managing a parcel of land; guessing the benefits of a riparian buffer using various objects; seeing how “grass,” “pavement,” and “gardens” absorb different amounts of water; and building a row home out of a cardboard box incorporating GSI tools.
These workshops provided teachers with S.T.E.M. content knowledge in a real world setting, as well as helping them to incorporate the “Next Generation Science Standards” (NGSS) into school curriculum. This instruction enables students to design, evaluate and refine solutions to reduce the impacts of human activities on biodiversity and the environment.
It was a wonderful experience working with the teachers of the School District of Philadelphia along with EcoExpress. On behalf of TTF, we thank you all for being a great audience! We appreciate your commitment to educate our future generations on the importance of keeping our environment healthy…and look forward to hearing how you and your students improve our watershed.
If you’d like to involve your students in hands-on activities in our watershed, please give us a call at 215-744-1853.