Watershed Education Makes a Splash at Public Library

800 450 Stroud Water Research Center

This summer, Stroud Water Research Center partnered with the Oxford Public Library to bring watershed fun and education to local children and families in a three-part activity series.

In July, educators went to the library with the Watershed Education Mobile Lab. The new discovery tank held macroinvertebrates from White Clay Creek for visitors to look at under microscopes and learn to identify. Art and science came together for younger visitors who enjoyed finding macroinvertebrates in the portable stream made of a blue and green cloth inlaid with 3D macroinvertebrates. This offered children a tactile experience to find the critters and then, with a piece of paper and crayon, make a rubbing of an animal to then identify.

Next, educators took the show on the road to Glenroy Preserve. Octoraro Creek runs through this beautiful park. Children collected macroinvertebrates from the creek, and they learned how doing so helps to assess stream health. Families enjoyed the day at the preserve while children enthusiastically clustered around the mobile lab.

Educators held the final session at the Oxford Public Library in August and centered it around a reading of Creek Critters, a children’s book from Arbordale Publishing (available in English and Spanish), written by Jennifer Curtis and Stroud Center educators. After storytime, students played educational watershed games, tossing an Earth beach ball around to discover how much water is on Earth, manipulating a model watershed to determine runoff and pollution, and moving from station to station to follow a drop of water on its journey around the water cycle.

The Stroud Center is excited to encourage the pairing of reading with hands-on learning and to interact with a new group of families in the Oxford area.