Watershed Stewardship

Sixth graders discover a need based on their local watershed where a change may be needed. Students then inventoried water movement and possible movement of pollutants and began thinking about ways to mitigate the polluting materials.

Cohort Members: Anne Lukens and Laurne Vitella

Students: 6th graders at Francis C. Hammond Middle School

Essential Questions: 

  • How can we be responsible stewards of our local watershed, and also the Chesapeake Bay?
  • What can be done to mitigate our school and communities contributions to the pollution of the Potomac River?


Science 6.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which:

  • observations are made involving fine discrimination between similar objects and organisms;
  • precise and approximate measurements are recorded;
  • scale models are used to estimate distance, volume, and quantity;
  • hypotheses are stated in ways that identify the independent and dependent variables;
  • a method is devised to test the validity of predictions and inferences;
  • one variable is manipulated over time, using many repeated trials;
  • data are collected, recorded, analyzed, and reported using metric measurements and tools;
  • data are analyzed and communicated through graphical representation;
  • models and simulations are designed and used to illustrate and explain phenomena and systems; and
  • current applications are used to reinforce science concepts.

Science 6.7 The student will investigate and understand the natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems. Key concepts include:

  • the health of ecosystems and the abiotic factors of a watershed;
  • the location and structure of Virginia’s regional watershed systems;
  • divides, tributaries, river systems, and river and stream processes;
  • wetlands;
  • estuaries;
  • major conservation, health, and safety issues associated with watersheds; and
  • water monitoring and analysis using field equipment including hand-held technology.