Great Lakes Watershed

Teacher(s): Steve Vree, Brook Holt, Dave Stuart, Erica Beaton
Main Contact: Steve Vree Email:
Date: 12/3/11 Building: Cedar Springs High School Grade Level: 9th Grade
First Trimester:       X Second Trimester:                 Third Trimester:
First Semester:                      Second Semester:

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Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Streams and rivers of West Michigan need to be protected and renewed by its citizens. Working in collaboration with West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) and Groundswell students we will be studying, cleaning, and protecting a local watershed throughout the school year and passing this on to future students the following school year.

-Students will measure and discover water chemistry, at a variety of different locations within a watershed/stream through the WMEAC Adopt-a-Stream Program.

– Students will also participate in the annual Grand River Clean Up in September or perform a clean-up of a local stream.

– Students will visit and learn about how the city water is treated at the Cedar Springs Waste Water Treatment Plant.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

• To obtain baseline data on Kent County streams.
• To protect and improve Kent County streams through community/citizen involvement in stream monitoring and restoration.
• To build citizen support for sound, local watershed management.
• To educate the public about water quality issues and empower citizens to protect and improve their streams by making use of federal, state and local governmental agencies and ordinances.
• To supplement water quality data collected by professional staff in water quality agencies and scientific institutions.
• To implement restoration efforts to protect and restore water quality and hydrology to West Michigan streams.

What service will you provide to address the need?

I will serve as the leader of the students in these activities and set-up all of these opportunities. I will also play an active role in the stream clean-up and Adopt-a-Stream.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

There are a tremendous amount of earth science and biology standards related to this thematic unit and service learning project.

Additionally students will be acquiring communications and technology skills throughout the unit.

Lastly through the thematic unit students will be learning about water in:

Math: qualitative and quantitative data, inferential statistics, descriptive statistics,


1. regional civilation

• africa

• 500-1500 ad

2. Argumentative writing
3. Reading informational texts

What are the educational goals?

21st century skills:

Character Traits we will focus on include: gratitude, curiosity, social intelligence, and optimism.


Curriculum Crafter Connections


Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.

Environmental Biology
• B/E1.1C – Conduct scientific investigations using appropriate tools and techniques (e.g., selecting an instrument that measures the desired quantity—length, volume, weight, time interval, temperature—with the appropriate level of precision).
• B/E1.1E – Describe a reason for a given conclusion using evidence from an investigation.
• B/E1.2B – Identify and critique arguments about personal or societal issues based on scientific evidence.
• B/E1.2k Analyze how science and society interact from a historical, political, economic, or social perspective.
• E2.1B – Analyze the interactions between the major systems (geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere) that make up the Earth.
• E2.1C – Explain, using specific examples, how a change in one system affects other Earth systems.
• E2.3B – Explain why small amounts of some chemical forms may be beneficial for life but are poisonous in large quantities (e.g., dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, Lake Nyos in Africa, fluoride in drinking water).
• E2.4B – Explain how the impact of human activities on the environment (e.g., deforestation, air pollution, coral reef destruction) can be understood through the analysis of interactions between the four Earth systems.
• E2.4d – Describe the life cycle of a product, including the resources, production, packaging, transportation, disposal, and pollution.
• E4.p1 – Water Cycle – Water circulates through the crust and atmosphere and in oceans, rivers, glaciers, and ice caps and connects all of the Earth systems. Groundwater is a significant reservoir and source of freshwater on Earth. The recharge and movement of groundwater depends on porosity, permeability, and the shape of the water table. The movement of groundwater occurs over a long period time. Groundwater and surface water are often interconnected.
• E4.p1A – Describe that the water cycle includes evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, infiltration, surface runoff, groundwater, and absorption.
• E4.p1B – Analyze the flow of water between the elements of a watershed, including surface features (lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands) and groundwater.
• E4.p1C-Describe the river and stream types, features, and process including cycles of flooding, erosion, and deposition as they occur naturally and as they are impacted by land use decisions.
• E4.p1D – Explain the types, process, and beneficial functions of wetlands.
• E4.1 -Hydrogeology – Fresh water moves over time between the atmosphere, hydrosphere (surface water, wetlands, rivers, and glaciers), and geosphere (groundwater). Water resources are both critical to and greatly impacted by humans. Changes in water systems will impact quality, quantity, and movement of water. Natural surface water processes shape the landscape everywhere and are affected by human land use decisions.
• E4.1A – Compare and contrast surface water systems (lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands) and groundwater in regard to their relative sizes as Earth’s freshwater reservoirs and the dynamics of water movement (inputs and outputs, residence times, sustainability).
• E4.1B – Explain the features and processes of groundwater systems and how the sustainability of North American aquifers has changed in recent history (e.g., the past 100 years) qualitatively using the concepts of recharge, residence time, inputs, and outputs.
• E4.1C – Explain how water quality in both groundwater and surface systems is impacted by land use decisions.
• L3.p4A – Recognize that, and describe how, human beings are part of Earth’s ecosystems. Note that human activities can deliberately or inadvertently alter the equilibrium in ecosystems.
• B3.4C – Examine the negative impact of human activities.
• B3.5B – Explain the influences that affect population growth.
• B3.5C – Predict the consequences of an invading organism on the survival of other organisms.

Communication » Grades 9-10
• SL.9-10.1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
• SL.9-10.2. Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
• SL.9-10.4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
• SL.9-10.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
• SL.9-10.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Technology » Grades 9-10
• 9-12.CI.2. create a web page
• 9-12.CI.3. use a variety of media and formats to design, develop, publish, and present projects (e.g., newsletters, websites, presentations, photo galleries)
• 9-12.CC.2. use available technologies (e.g., desktop conferencing, e-mail, videoconferencing, instant messaging) to communicate with others on a class assignment or project
• 9-12.CC.3. collaborate in content-related projects that integrate a variety of media (e.g., print, audio, video, graphic, simulations, and models)
• 9-12.RI.4. distinguish between fact, opinion, point of view, and inference
• 9-12.RI.5 evaluate information found in selected online sources on the basis of accuracy and validity
• 9-12.RI.6. evaluate resources for stereotyping, prejudice, and misrepresentation
• 9-12.RI.7. understand that using information from a single internet source might result in the reporting of erroneous facts and that multiple sources must always be researched


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

• Students will keep a journal of their accomplishments throughout the project and their services and character traits.
• Persuasive Essays
• Presentations (school board, community, parents)
• Public Awareness Products (videos, papers, posters, pamphlets, websites, etc.)


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc.)

Students will be working with a variety of people during the unit and project. These persons will vary in the cultures, ages, abilities, and learning styles. Students will need to use their social intelligence to adapt and be flexible.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

My students will have a variety of different service learning projects about water to choose from. Those who choose Stream Team will have inherently have some degree of ownership. Students will watch a couple different documentaries and read articles / texts about the importance of water and current issues around it. Students will also gain ownership by brainstorming ways we can improve our stream. They will gain ownership as they are given responsibility to maintain, renew, and protect are real stream. Lastly, students will gain ownership as they will be honored in presenting their work to other community members.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

• WMEAC – Daniel Schoonmaker –, Lake Drive SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 –
• City of Cedar Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant – Russ Johnson
• Dr. Eric Snyder –

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Students will not only being having their environmental awareness increased and their academic skills strengthened; they will also be growing in four highly-predictive character strengths, as identified by Seligman and Peterson. The four strengths we will be focusing on are curiosity, gratitude, social intelligence, and optimism.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

WMEAC will obtain valuable data collection for their Adopt-a-Stream project and also have local citizens become more aware of them and environmental issues concerning watersheds.

City of Cedar Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant – will benefit as a public service provider by having their consumers become more aware and appreciative of the services they provide. It might be possible that some the data collected from a local stream could useful to them as well.

Dr. Eric Snyder – as an educator, will benefit by enlightening young adults on a topic in which he feels passionate as well as providing background knowledge to potential GVSU students.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Academic goals in English, History, Science, Communications, and Technology will be measured through assessments in the subject areas. Participation and contributions to the project will be measure through the project products.

How will you assess your service goals?

Service will be measured through:
• the number of hours students contributed to the service project
• the number of interactions or contacts with people involved in the project
• The amount of clean-up done on the stream.
• The reflective project product and presentations.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Students will learn about water extensively in their environmental biology class. Students will do water testing, read and watch videos in regard to current issues about water, guest speakers who work in the area of water, basic curriculum.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Clean-up a stream, measure water quality, collect, count, and identify macro invertebrates, Adopt-a-Stream for the year, attend a wastewater treatment plant, present the experiences and outcomes though a variety of different forms.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

Clearly by cleaning up streams, protecting, and renewing they are learning to become good stewards of the environment. By becoming educated and sharing / teaching this to other community members we making social progress about environmental issues. Lastly, by reducing pollution and increasing stream health the economy is growing by reducing pollution clean-up costs and human health costs.