Watershed Ecology Center Programs Make A Difference Since the beginning of this academic year, the Watershed Ecology Center has presented programs every day of the school year. We have reached more than 5,800 students in public, private, and home school groups in Spartanburg County and the Blue Ridge community schools. Visiting the school and being welcomed by enthusiastic students is such a pleasure. Most programs are offered free of charge, and include live animals, artifacts, models, experiments, plays, and games. Each educational lesson is correlated to the South Carolina science standards, and we are working to modify these programs to meet the new Common Core Standards. Teachers really enjoy the Teacher Check-Out Kits. These program kits provide a “lesson in a box” and include lesson plans with all the materials and supplies needed to teach the class. The Center delivers the kit on the date the teacher requests. With all the daily activities going on, the teachers enjoy having these kits in their classrooms for as long as they need them. New Math, Chemistry Programs Available Thanks to USC Upstate faculty members Dr. M.B. Ulmer and Dr. Chris Bender, the Center now has math programs available for students in second through sixth grades, and chemistry programs for children in kindergarten, second, third, fifth and seventh grades. Community Outreach In addition to our efforts in the classrooms, the Center also stays busy presenting community outreach programs to organizations, residential living centers, clubs, and service groups. This year, Storm Drain Marking and Stream Ecology have been very popular topics for the community programs. Many are surprised to learn that the water from the storm drain doesn’t go to a treatment plant; it goes directly into our rivers, creeks, and streams and sometimes into the lakes that supply our drinking water. If you’re interested in scheduling a program for your organization, please contact us. We enjoy sharing our presentations and appreciate the opportunity to help raise awareness about such important topics. Protect Storm Drains Because They Protect Us Storm drains were originally designed to protect us from flooding by providing water drainage outlets at times when there is a lot of rain or melting snow which can cause floods. They do this by channeling water runoff to streams, creeks, rivers, and lakes. If lawn debris, dirt, trash, soapy water from washing cars or any types of chemicals are carried down the drain with the running water, it will pass through the storm drain into a receiving stream and ultimately into water sources. Being mindful of how storm drains function can help protect those water sources.
WEC Newsletter W13
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