Exploring Alabama's Living Streams
Exploring Alabama’s Living Streams has a flexible design to accommodate the unique needs and teaching styles of educators. That is accomplished by the following means:
STRUCTURE: The curriculum is structured to be completed in about one week. Many concepts and ideas presented, however, are a natural platform for more in-depth investigation, or incorporation of additional science, math, and social studies concepts. The curriculum can therefore be used as a foundational guide for longer time periods by bringing in materials that complement classroom learning objectives.
MATERIALS: Curriculum material is arranged in modules, which build on each other and culminate in a structured field trip. The ‘Exploration before Explanation’ concept can easily be adapted, if desired, by taking the field trip first, collecting data, then returning to learn about what was done and why.
ACTIVITIES: Four activities accompany each module. The difficulty and/or time commitment varies with activity. Educators can choose which activities best suit the abilities of the students and class goals.
WORKSHOPS: Three types of workshops are available for educators. The first two are the formal AWW Stream Biomonitoring and AWW Chemistry workshops. The third is a professional development workshop designed around the Living Streams curriculum. All three workshops carry Continuing Education credits. The professional development workshop also carries AMSTI credit. We recommend all three of these training workshops to get the most use out of the curriculum.
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: The curriculum is designed to use the help of local Alabama Water Watch volunteer monitors. A number of organizations are often available to work with science classrooms as well, including local Environmental Education (EE) centers. For more information see Linking to “Local Experts” in the Community and Environmental Education Centers in Alabama.
ADAPTING TO ELEMENTARY GRADES: The curriculum targets middle and high school students; however, elementary students enjoy getting their feet wet as well. The Internet Resources section of the curriculum can help locate activities applicable for younger students.