Ages: Grades 5-12. Program Length: 40 minutes per class. The Revitalize, Restore, Replant! (R3) program is designed to transform existing stormwater facilities (like bioretentions and dry ponds or yard inlets) on Fairfax County Public School FCPS campuses into outdoor classrooms through student-led native plant installations. Plant species are chosen to complement existing programs of study, allowing plantings to be used as a teaching tool for all grade levels.
Fairfax County provides native plants, plant ID signs, and all other necessary materials for this event.
Due to the popularity of this program, the earliest available slot for R3 plantings is Spring 2020.
Ages: High School. Program Length: 90 minute lab. In the Stream Crime Investigation (SCI) Lab, students act as recruits for a crime prevention unit whose role is to track and stop common pollutants from entering our waterways. By coupling the informative nature of presentations with the hands-on experience of lab exercises, this lab illustrates the connection between residents’ behaviors on land and their impact on local waters. SCI lab materials are available for free for other jurisdictions Learn more about SCI
Ages: Elementary School. Program Length: 30 minutes. This activity combines art and science to explore the life of one of our local stream insects – the caddisfly! In this activity, students learn about caddisflies, the houses they make, and how they relate to stream health. Students then make their own caddisfly and house out of craft supplies
The Create a Caddisfly program is a great STEM or STEAM night activity and fulfills requirements for the Bug Badge (Girl Scouts) or the Insect Study (Boy Scouts).
Ages: Grades 4-12. Program Length: 40 minutes. The Stream Critter Cube Lab allows students to monitor local streams without leaving the classroom! Students learn how to identify different stream organisms using a key and how to determine the health of a stream based on the critters they find. While some critters can tolerate pollution, others need clean water to survive. Based on the number of sensitive, moderate, and tolerant organisms in the sample, students give their stream a grade. Will your stream be an A+ or an F?
Ages: High School. Program Length: 45 minutes. Program availability contingent on season and weather. Similar to the Stream Critter Cube Lab, students learn how to identify live stream organisms using a key and how to determine the health of a stream based on the critters they find. While some critters can tolerate pollution, others need clean water to survive. Based on the number of sensitive, moderate and tolerant organisms in the sample, students give their stream a grade. Will your stream be an A+ or an F?
Ages: Elementary School. Program Length: 40 minutes. Oh, what a tangled web we weave when trying to teach food webs. In this program, students learn about producers, consumers, and decomposers in the Chesapeake Bay. In the interactive portion of the program, students become part of the food web and learn how each species plays an integral role in our environment and what happens when human interactions throw off a balanced ecosystem.
Ages: Grades 4-12. Program Length: 40 minutes. Students act as litter detectives and investigate where the litter found in their local stream or on their school campus is coming from. Using the results, students help create an action plan to reduce the amount of litter coming from their school.
Ages: High School. Program Length: 45 minutes. Fluvial geomorphology is the study of the form and function of streams and their interaction with the surrounding landscape. In this lab, students will learn about physical characteristics of streams, how they can change over time, and how they are monitored. This lab can be held outdoors at a stream or in your classroom.
Our team of freshwater ecologists is available to answer questions. Skype a Scientist is an opportunity to combine the technology of Skype with the individual classroom connection of a local scientist. Staff are available to discuss a wide range of topics, including watersheds, assessing the health of our streams and lakes, Chesapeake Bay, food webs, stormwater management, influences of human activity on ecosystems, science fair projects, and more! For large classes, it is helpful to send a list of questions ahead of time for review.
Stormy the Raindrop is an award-winning champion of clean water. Stormy teaches kids ways to keep our rivers and stream clean through activity books, a puppet show video, and in person at public events.
A Field Guide to Fairfax County's Plants and Wildlife
Many species of plants and animals call Fairfax County home. A Field Guide to Fairfax County's Plants and Wildlife helps readers identify common species found in typical neighborhoods, schoolyards, parks and other areas.