Making Change for our Watersheds

Environmental challenges to local watersheds inspired students to make change in their community. Each 7th grade Life Science class agreed on a specific topic and approach to solving a problem related to local watersheds. For instance, one class focused on invasive species, another on the level of E. Coli in Four Mile Run and another on improving environmental education in Alexandria. After selecting their topic, students in each class take on roles to address the problem. Some students are grant writers, others are financial planners, others manage a website and blog. All students are involved in researching the topic in-depth, interviewing stakeholders and proposing and enacting a solution to the problem.

Cohort Member: Mary Breslin

Students: 7th grade Honors Life Science students at George Washington Middle School

Essential Questions:

How can watershed health be used to determine ecological imbalances?

How can scientific principles be applied to improve watershed health?


LS.1 The student will plan and conduct investigations in which;
i) patterns are identified in data and are interpreted and evaluated; and
j) current applications are used to reinforce life science concepts.

LS.6 The student will investigate and understand that organisms within an ecosystem are dependent on one another and on nonliving components of the environment. Key concepts include:
a) the carbon, w ater, and nitrogen cycles
b) interactions resulting in a flow of energy and matter throughout the system
c) complex relationships within terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems

LS.11 The student will investigate and understand the relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.
a) food production and harvest
b) change in habitat size, quality, or structure
c) change in species competition
d) population disturbances and factors that threaten or enhance species survival
e) environmental issues (water supply, air supply, energy production, and waste management)