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Connecting classrooms to careers

Water Stewardship

With continued need to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to the effects of flooding and drought due to climate change, and with growing populations that need fresh clean water and sustainable ways to treat wastewater, a vast spectrum of careers lie ahead for our students. Additionally, students can develop the capacity right now to “support ecologically sound, economically prosperous, and equitable communities for present and future generations” (A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy).

Build your students’ environmental literacy with these water-focused lessons! Written by teachers for teachers, and intended to increase and inspire water stewardship and pro-environmental behaviors in students, these lessons: 

  1. Increase student awareness of water careers and local environmental issues 
  2. Engage students in critical thinking, enhancing their problem-solving skills to effectively address these issues and
  3. Provide decision-making practice around environmental challenges to ensure clean and safe water is available to all

Developed in partnership with BAYWORKRAFT, Synopsys Outreach Foundation, and The Tech and funded by a grants from EPA and Valley Water, this environmental literacy curriculum is free to teachers.

Featured Lessons:

Middle School Aligned Lesson Plans

Research Project: Water Industry Careers
Katy Cachiotis 
5th Grade ELA
Student interest leads to research and reporting about water industry career pathways.

The Story of Water 
Victoria Kuhlmann
7th Grade Core

The impact of water usage and the importance of conservation and stewardship is interpreted through a children’s book.

Water Management Then and Now
Diana Kaplenko
6th Grade ELA, Social Studies, Environmental Impact

A comparison between past and present designs to utilize and save water with cooperative systems, this introductory lesson leads to students developing an environmental action plan.

Tap Water’s Journey
Erich Bartel 
7th Grade Science

Water’s journey through a local water district is tracked with a map and 3D model to identify the major infrastructural components of a local water district and environmental challenges each component faces.


Water Footprint of Food
Debrah Jockisch
6-8th Grade Science

The design of a balanced meal with a small water footprint showcases how small changes can lead to larger impacts.

Where Does Our Water Come From and How Does it Get to Us?
June Smith
7th Grade Science

Investigation of the journey of water from the source to the faucet includes all the people involved in getting water to our homes and leads to water stewardship action plans.

Save My Water!
Ron Keller
6-8th Grade CTE Arts, Media, and Entertainment

The benefit of choosing low-water use food on water conservation is communicated through a public service announcement for a student-run news station.

A Drop in the Bucket
Susan Hansen
8th Grade Science

Exploring water management by estimating and calculating the percentage of available freshwater on Earth.


High School Aligned Lesson Plans

Recycling Water is More Than the Water Cycle
Leona Wong
9-12th Grade Environmental Science
Purifying water with household materials to explore the process and effort of removing pollutants.

Extracting Energy from Wastewater
Steven Chand
HS Physical Science/Chemistry

Burning hydrogen gas from water to demonstrate how wastewater can be utilized as a source of energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.

Water Chemistry in our Community
Frances Acosta
HS Chemistry

Testing and analyzing the quality of water around the community, data is utilized to communicate with the community about water quality and what makes our water “safe.”

Our Global Water Crisis-How Can I be Part of the Solution?
Cora da Costa Pereira
HS AP Biology

Water’s journey through a local water district is tracked with a map and 3D model to identify the major infrastructural components of a local water district and environmental challenges each component faces.


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This publication was developed under Assistance Agreement No.98T46501-0 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed in this document are solely those of Ignited and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned in this publication.