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EducationNewsOutdoors

“Water Rocks” Coming to a School Near You

Water Rocks!, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach youth water education program, has opened its Water Rocks! classroom visit request platform for fall semester 2022 for in-person learning sessions. The Water Rocks! program brings science- and research-based lessons about conservation, natural resources and water quality to Iowa schools free of charge. All sessions are correlated with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), adopted to guide curriculum in most Iowa schools.

“We like to think of our classroom visits as bringing the science field trip to the school,” said Ann Staudt, Water Rocks! director with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “Throughout the 10-year history of Water Rocks!, we have received consistently positive feedback from classroom teachers who have hosted our teams, and many have requested return visits on a regular basis. During the last school year, we worked with more than 9,000 students through in-person and virtual visits. With more schools welcoming in-person visits now, we are eager to engage even more students in environmental learning this year.”

Water Rocks! classroom visits provide intensive hands-on and interactive learning opportunities within the span of a typical 45–50-minute class period. Each lesson is adapted for grade level appropriateness and can easily be scaled up or down when visiting multiple grades within the same school. Teachers at different grade levels are encouraged to collaborate on visit requests.

“The classroom visits work best with groups of 30 students or less, and we are happy to work with multiple classes back-to-back during a single visit to a school,” continued Staudt. “Thanks to generous partners, we are able to visit schools across the state to offer these interactive presentations without any fees.”

Water Rocks! classroom visit topics available for request include:

  • Water & Watersheds (Grades 3-8)
  • Wetlands (Grades 3-8)
  • Pollinators (Grades 4-8)
  • Ecosystems & Biodiversity (Grades 4-8)
  • Exploring Natural Resources (Grades K-2)

Water Rocks! will work with teachers to help determine the best module for their classroom and curriculum. The program also provides teachers with pre-visit and post-visit resources and activity recommendations to help maximize the benefits to students and expand the learning opportunities. In addition, programming can be adapted to incorporate relevant locale-specific information to include reference to projects at a school such as prairie restoration or butterfly gardens students may already know about.

To learn more about Water Rocks! classroom visits or to submit a request for your classroom or school, visit https://www.waterrocks.org/request-a-visit. Requests received by Aug. 26 will receive priority consideration for scheduling preference.

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