by Katy Hunt, Lower Neuse Riverkeeper
Sound Rivers recently led a Stormwater workshop for Craven County teachers at the 2019 Craven Summit. This was the second year Sound Rivers participated in the summit; last year, four teachers attended the workshop taught by Maria McDaniel from A Time for Science. This year, 21 teachers from 8 different schools teaching grades 5th-12th attended. Educators who attended the summit teach various subjects including science, agriculture, math, engineering, civics, language arts, and visual arts.
After an overview of the Campus Stormwater Project and the purpose of the workshop, Maria went through lessons and activities she’s developed to help educators teach stormwater and conservation. Teachers took a field trip to see the new cistern installed by Sound Rivers at New Bern High School this summer. Teachers saw the cistern “in action” and were better able to visualize how their students could benefit from this outdoor classroom, as well as how they could adapt the lesson plans to fit their classes. The cistern itself is not very attractive, but is a great canvas for an art class project. The history of water collection and how stormwater is managed globally is a great focus for history teachers. Calculating the area of a building to see how much rain has to fall to fill the cistern, and rate of rainfall are all great practice for math and engineering classes.
While outside, the teachers worked through one of the lessons called “How much rain falls here?” They measured the sides of a small parking lot, calculated the area, and determined how many gallons of water would be generated by 1” of rainfall. Along with the lesson plans themselves, Maria provided suggestions to improve or adapt the activities. One teacher in attendance has been using the lesson plans in her classes; she gave feedback about how her classes enjoyed and worked through them, and how her students used ipads to add a technology component.
The teachers who attended the workshop have received copies of the lesson plans and are encouraged to share them with other educators who were not able to attend the session. The excitement about the cistern and future stormwater control measures to be installed on our partner campuses was evident; the envy of the middle school teachers was even more so.
This has been a great project so far with positive feedback from our partners and their students. Thanks so much to the Bosch Community Fund, Craven County Community Foundation, and Harold Bate Foundation for their support of this project!