This year the Wentworth Watershed Association is sponsoring the 5th grade at Crescent Lake School. Our hope is to engage teachers and students with watershed studies and inspire a conservation ethic in the next generation. The students have been exploring the Brewster Heath Preserve with their teachers using the educational tools purchased with funds from the Wentworth Watershed Association’s sponsorship. As planned, Julie Brown, the Association’s Executive Director, will be visiting classes in the grade through out the year. She spent the morning at CLS in Jake Shaffner’s 5th grade classroom exploring watershed science with his students.
At the start of class, the kids were eager to share what they already knew about the water cycle. They then looked at local maps, explored satellite views of Wolfeboro, talked about land use, and how water flows through the landscape. Student’s named all of the waterbodies in Wolfeboro and few in surrounding towns. They noticed that around half of the town is water. In order to better understand how water moves through the landscape and when it is absorbed and when it isn’t, they conducted two experiments. One showed kids how water travels from high elevations to lower elevations and pools in basins. The other helped students understand the different types of substrate absorb water, including soil, mulch, gravel, sand and asphalt. Students learned new terminology including nutrients, pervious, impervious, watersheds, elevation, tributary, river, brook, stream, basin, lake, and pond.
Students better understand how water flows through Wolfeboro and how we are the headwaters to the Merrimack River Watershed. They learned how nutrients travel with the water and how nutrient loading can cause issues in rivers, ponds, and lakes. We will get together again soon to explore the outdoor classroom.