Discover Free Middle School Watershed Education Lessons

800 446 Stroud Water Research Center

Final WATERS Curriculum With Universal Design for Learning Features Now Free to All Educators

David Kline on a snowy mountain.

By David Kline

Stroud Water Research Center has created a new and free watershed science curriculum that uses Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to maximize learning outcomes. The 10-lesson middle school unit is student-centered, place-based, and accessible to those of varying abilities. 

Named the Watershed Awareness using Technology and Environmental Research for Sustainability (WATERS) curriculum, it integrates the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE) framework. The goal is to educate students about watershed concepts, inspire civic action and stewardship practices, and introduce water-related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career opportunities. 

What’s in the WATERS Curriculum?

The WATERS curriculum engages students in a variety of activities, including: 

  • Identifying issues in their local watershed. 
  • Conducting a schoolyard assessment to understand the impact on the watershed. 
  • Learning about conservation practices that can mitigate runoff and erosion issues. 
  • Completing a stream study (onsite or remote). 
  • Modeling improvements to their schoolyard using Model My Watershed®.
  • Working in teams to create action plans that could make a difference in the health of their watershed and community.      

Educators can preview the free 10-lesson unit and sign up for a free teacher account on the online learning portal. The portal allows educators to create student accounts and logins, manage class rosters, assign lessons, monitor student progress, and provide valuable feedback.

Screenshot of the Watershed Awareness Using Technology and Environmental Research for Sustainability online curriculum.

To engage your students in authentic place-based learning, check out this free resource, and access more watershed curricula from WikiWatershed®. 

The National Science Foundation’s ITEST program funded the development of the WATERS curriculum and the research about the impact of UDL design features. The WATERS project is paving a path to increased access to proven curricula with the potential to significantly increase learners’ awareness of and engagement with water concepts and career pathways nationwide.