KC Water ensures the accessibility and quality of water services to meet the growing needs of our region by investing in the future of our water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. Our focus is on providing a high quality product and excellent experience to our customers today as we prepare for the water needs of future generations.
YOU SCHEDULE IT! OPPORTUNITIES:
Water Quality Education Lessons and Projects
All lessons/projects listed below are hands-on, interactive experiences that teach about human impact on water quality.
Location: Various depending on program: Indoor or outdoor locations within the city limits of Kansas City, MO. Troops located outside of Kansas City must be willing to bring members to sites within KCMO unless location is approved by KC Water. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Times: Flexible (Lessons generally take about an hour. Projects generally take about 2 hours.)
Registration Requirements: All girls participating as a Girl Scout in these activities must be registered Girl Scout members. If attending as a troop, all volunteers also need to be registered members and/or have completed and approved background checks. If non-registered individuals (adults or tags) are allowed to participate, supplemental insurance is required. Use the Insurance Purchase Form to purchase insurance at least 3 weeks prior to event. Completed forms can be emailed to email@example.com.
How to Register: Contact Water.Education@kcmo.org or call Kate Delehunt at 816-309-0980.
Questions? Contact Water.Education@kcmo.org or call Kate Delehunt at 816-309-0980.
Badge Connections: Eco Learner, Bugs, Eco Friend, Eco Advocate, Water
Journey Connections: Outdoor, Between Earth and Sky, Think Like a Scientist
Daisy Brownie Junior Cadette Senior Ambassador All Levels
Freddy the Fish Lesson
Discuss with the students that when rain lands on the ground, some of it soaks in (grassy areas) and some of it travels (concrete areas). As rain travels, it carries lots of things like dirt, leaves, sticks, rocks, trash, salt, oil, chemicals, and animal waste. Openings along the curb of a street or in the streets or fields are called storm drains. These drains carry rain and everything it has collected along the way to the nearest creek, stream, or river.
Tell the story of Freddy the Fish and his journey to the ocean. Show pictures of the types of human activities Freddy encounters on his trip and how these activities are polluting his stream. Let students add various substances to the water to represent different kinds of pollution. At the end, discuss how water must be cleaned before humans can drink it, and what people can do to keep pollution out of creeks, streams, and rivers.
Clean Water Messages Lesson
Part 1: Discuss with the students what they think water pollution is. Ask for examples of substances that might be found in local creeks and streams that should not be there. Show students pictures of different types of pollution including trash, oil, lawn fertilizers, animal waste, soap, paint, dirt, leaves, salt, and industrial waste. Talk about how people cause most of these substances to get into local water ways. Next, show pictures of concrete driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and streets and talk about how these surfaces carry pollutants into the creeks and cause flooding. Ask students what they think we can all do to keep water clean. Introduce the phrase “Best Management Practices” and show examples of different BMPs.
Part 2: Give students crayons and “New Town” poster sheets and
have them draw a picture or write a message about what people can do
to keep our creeks and streams clean. These posters can be put up in
the classroom or around the school for others to view. To get the
clean water messages out in the community, they could be put on brown
paper grocery bags from a local supermarket and reused or put on door
hangars and placed at homes in the neighborhood.
Trash Tally Lesson
Students learn some water soaks into the ground and becomes groundwater and some water moves on top of the ground and is called stormwater. Because of gravity, stormwater always moves down to the lowest point on the land which is where creeks, streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds are found. As stormwater moves on the ground, it carries lots of things like dirt, leaves, sticks, rocks, trash, salt, oil, chemicals, and animal waste. Openings along the curb of a street or in the streets or fields are called storm drains. The pipes connected to the drains carry stormwater and everything it has collected along the way to the nearest creek, stream, or river.
Have students get a partner as they walk around the school grounds to tally the trash they see. Instruct students not to pick up any trash unless gloves and a trash bag have been provided. Add up all of the tallies for each trash item found. For each item, have students add the highest number found with the lowest number found and divide by 2 to calculate the median for each item. Use crepe paper on the Tally graph poster to visually depict the median for each item.
Journey of Stormwater Lesson
A power point presentation takes students through the concepts of watersheds, the water cycle, how stormwater runoff comes from concrete and contributes to water pollution, and how stormwater, drinking water, and waste water are connected to our rivers (Horizontal Water Cycle). Students will pour water on concrete and make observations about how it travels and carries particles to the lowest point of the land. Students will make observations about a 1 square yard plastic frame that’s 1 inch deep and will measure the amount of water it takes to fill the frame. Students will then measure the length and width of a parking space and calculate its area.
Using the data obtained from the frame and the size of a parking space, students will calculate how many gallons of water will flow from one parking space during a 1 inch rain event. Connections will be made as to how water traveling over concrete contributes to poor water quality and can lead to flooding. Students will share ideas on what people can do to reduce pollution and control flooding.
Macro Monitoring Lesson
A power point presentation introduces students to how benthic macroinvertebrates are used to determine water quality. Students learn about the general characteristics of macros, how they are an important part of many food chains, and what a healthy macro habitat looks like. Connections are made as to how stormwater runoff negatively impacts these habitats. Students become familiar with the classification system of macros and how to use physical characteristics to identify them. They are introduced to the macro categories of pollution tolerance and the point system used to calculate water quality at a site.
Macroinvertebrate samples are brought to the classroom and set up in stations around the room. Students are put into small groups and rotate through the stations to identify the macro samples. They use the data sheet to calculate the points for the macros they were able to identify. The lesson concludes with the discussion about the possible presence of pollution and what they can do to improve water quality in their neighborhood.
Storm Drain Marking Project
Participants will gather at a pre-determined location chosen by WSD. Locations are chosen based on the number of storm drains in the area, ease of accessibility, safety, and/or convenience to the participants. Water Services will provide safety vests, all supplies needed to mark storm drains, and water quality door hangers. Participants should be dressed appropriately for the weather and should bring sunscreen, bug spray, bottled water, and a hat. At the site before storm drain marking begins, Water Services staff will explain how storm drains work, how pollutants that go down a drain negatively impact water quality, and what residents can do to keep pollutants out of the drains. They will also go over the safety precautions of marking storm drains. Participants will be divided into groups of 5 or 6. Each group will be given a map of storm drain locations in the area and will be instructed to mark as many drains in their area as time and supplies allow.
Litter Pickup Project
Participants will gather at a pre-determined location chosen by WSD. Locations are chosen based on the amount of litter in the area, ease of accessibility, safety, and/or convenience to the participants. Water Services will supply gloves, trash bags, safety vests, and trash grippers and will contract with KC Parks and Rec to have the trash bags removed after the completion of the pickup event. Participants should be dressed appropriately for the weather and should bring sunscreen, bug spray, bottled water, and a hat. At the site before the litter pickup begins, Water Services staff will explain how stormwater runoff causes trash to collect in urban creeks and streams and how that impacts water quality in the KC metro area. They will also go over the safety precautions of picking up litter.
Treatment Plant Tours
Water Services offers tours at both the Drinking Water Treatment Plant (located on Hwy 9 just north of the downtown airport) and the Waste Water Treatment Plant (located on Front Street just west of I-435). Both of these tours are for students in 6th grade and up and all adult participants must have a background check completed prior to the tour. The background check takes approximately 2 weeks so tours should be scheduled at least 3 weeks in advance. On the tours, participants will learn how water is treated and what kinds of jobs are needed to meet water quality standards. Both tours take approximately 1 hour. Participants need to be dressed appropriately for the weather as both tours require going outside. All forms and reservations needed for a tour can be requested by contacting Water.Education@kcmo.org.
Green Infrastructure Tour
Tours of the Green Infrastructure features on the Water Services parking lot located at 4800 E. 63rd Street are also given. Participants will learn what Water Services is doing to capture and filter stormwater runoff and what residents can do to help improve water quality on their own property. Participants will see demonstration rain gardens, bioswales, pervious pavement, energy efficient lighting, and many other green features. This tour is open to all age levels and does not require a background check. Participants need to be dressed appropriately for the weather as the entire tour is conducted outdoors.