Watershed Education

Learn about Water Quality and the Great Lakes!

For more information about water studies, curriculum and helpful links at Cranbrook, visit www.cranbrookfreshwaterforum.org

Watershed Education Outreach Programs

Water on the Go! Programs, developed around the Michigan Grade Level Content Expectation Benchmarks for Science and Social Studies, are a part of the Institute’s Water on the Go! educational outreach program. Water on the Go! programs come to your school to engage students in a fun presentation and hands-on learning. Programs are designed for 6th, 7th and 8th Grades.

Our programs use the Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) curriculum developed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

How We Use Water is a one-hour, hands-on lesson that engages students in learning about the water cycle and water conservation. Through interactive demonstrations and games, students learn about the Great Lakes as a unique, global freshwater system. They will share ways they can help conserve water in their own lives to help keep the Great Lakes GREAT!

The presentation will:

  • Review the hydrologic cycle.
  • Determine the distribution and availability of freshwater and saltwater on Earth.
  • Help students identify their own uses of water and understand how water is essential to Michigan’s environment and economy.

I Live in a Watershed is a one-hour, hands-on lesson that engages students in learning about their local watershed. Working together in groups, students build their own watershed models to understand the impact of non-point source pollution on water quality. They will learn about best management practices that prevent storm water pollution.

The presentation will:

  • Model the impact of non-point source pollution in a watershed.
  • Use maps to better understand local watersheds and their connection to the environment.
  • Show how individual actions can affect the health of the Great Lakes.

To learn how to book a water on the go visit to your school, please visit:

Cranbrook Freshwater Forum 

Harris Family Great Lakes Environmental Education Programs

Presented by:

The Harris Family Philanthropic Fund

Water Quality Monitoring on Cranbrook’s Campus PREMIUM PROGRAM

Grades 5-Adult
Students gather water samples from the Rouge River on Cranbrook’s Campus to measure water quality using physical and biological assessments. Identification and classification of benthic macro-invertebrates provides data about water quality as students sort, identify and count creatures harvested from the river bottom. This hands-on experience opens a new world of awareness and scientific inquiry as to the health of local rivers and streams. NOTE: Program occurs outdoors, dress appropriately for the weather. This is a 90 minute premium program.

Great Lakes Food Web
Grades 4-Adult
Habitat loss, invasive species, and pollution have resulted in dramatic changes in the population of native species in the Great Lakes. Learn about the food web that links plants and animals in this complex system. The study of Lake Sturgeon and other Great Lakes fish will tell the story of this incredible ecosystem.

I Live in a Watershed 
Grades 5-Adult
Learn about your watershed and how to protect it from pollution. Working in groups, students create a model community to develop an understanding of the ways in which land use impacts the water quality of local rivers and streams, and ultimately, the Great Lakes!

Groundwater Pollution
Grades 3-Adult
Using a simulator we’ll demonstrate how groundwater moves through a watershed from soil to aquifers to wetlands and rivers. Then, we’ll investigate how the permeability of different earth materials affects groundwater flow and aquifer formation. We’ll finish by observing the ways various pollutants move through groundwater to contaminate wells and learn what can be done to protect this important resource.

How We Use Water
Grades 2-Adult
Learn about the Great Lakes as one of the most important freshwater resources on Earth. Join us on a journey through the water cycle from the Earth’s surface to atmosphere and back again. Demonstrations and hands-on activities reveal how vital the Earth’s fresh water is and what we can do to conserve it.

To register for Harris Family Great Lakes Environmental Education Programs, please contact us:

PHONE: 248 645.3210, Mon.-Fri. 8am-4pm
FAX: 248 645.3050
MAIL: Cranbrook Institute of Science
Scheduling Office
39221 Woodward Ave.
P.O. Box 801
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303-0801

Distance Learning: Science on Screen

Watershed Ecology
Grades 5-Adult
Learn about your watershed and the difference between point and non-point source pollution with this interactive presentation. Maps help students understand their watershed and place within it. Through a hands-on activity, students discover how land use and individual actions can impact water quality.

Biological Monitoring of Rivers
Grades 5-Adult
Sampling and counting benthic macro-invertebrates is a common way to measure water quality in rivers and streams. The program presents the biology and identification of these fascinating aquatic creatures with photographs and samples. Students play an interactive game to assess water quality in a simulated river using real data.

Water Quality Monitoring Preparation
Grades 5-Adult
Prepare your students for a Water Quality Monitoring on Cranbrook’s Campus – Premium Program with a lesson on what to do and what to expect before visiting the Institute. We will review data entry sheets, physical characteristics of rivers, and benthic macro-invertebrate identification.