Lessons, Projects and Programs

Kitsap County Public Works educators offer free lessons, projects, programs and field trips to local schools and youth groups. Lessons are aligned with state learning standards.

Sewer
Water use, sewer systems, wastewater treatment
Stormwater
Stormwater, salmon, streams and water-quality
Recycling and Waste
Waste reduction and management, recycling, composting

 

 

​ Adopt-a-Worm Classroom Composting

Discover how Red Wiggler worms, and other decomposers, recycle food scraps into compost. The process reduces the amount of food waste sent to landfills and benefits your garden.

Students are introduced to worm bin composting, the anatomy and habitat of Red Wigglers, and food waste reduction. Small indoor worm bins available.

Learn more


​Grades K-5 / Duration: 45 min. / In-person or virtual

​ All the Way to the Ocean

Where do storm drains lead? Why do we need to worry about what goes down them? After hearing the story "All the Way to the Ocean" by Joel Harper, students will find out the answers to these questions. The puzzles they complete after the story will show some pollutants that can end up in storm drains; how to keep them from ending up in the drains; and what critters live in our streams.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Students will identify a storm drain

  • Students will explain where storm drains lead

  • Students will be able to name two things that should NOT be found in a storm drain


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • Look at pictures in the read-aloud story

  • Follow a maze and a dot-to-dot in activity sheets

  • Crawl through a mock storm drain (not available during 2020-2021)

​Grades K-2 / Duration: 30 min. / In-person

​ How Much Runoff?

Using the Scientific Method, students complete an experiment to determine whether a developed or an undeveloped watershed has more stormwater runoff. Students will explain their conclusion and discuss alternatives to change the outcome.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Learn what a watershed is

  • Understand how building in a watershed impacts runoff

  • Follow the steps of the Scientific Method

    HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • Create a hypothesis

  • Conduct an experiment

  • Follow the Scientific Method

  • Share results with the class

Grades 2-6 / Duration: 50-60 min. / In-person

​ I Don’t Pollute...Do I?

Students use a tabletop watershed model to see how household hazardous waste and other everyday activities can have unintended consequences to our streams and water supply.                 
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Learn what a watershed is 

  • Describe two types of water pollution

  • Name three everyday activities that contribute to water pollution and alternatives


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED

  • Whole body activity to depict a watershed

  • Observe a model of a watershed

  • Pollute the model as a result of various human activities

  • Make it rain on the model and observe the impact on waterways

Grades 2-8 / Duration: 50-60 min. / In-person or virtual

 ​Incredible Journey

Students will pretend they are water drops and play a game that takes them on a journey through the water cycle. They keep a record of their journey so they can share verbally and then write a creative story about their adventure.                 
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Describe how water moves through the water cycle, including our built environment

  • Describe two types of water pollution

  • Name five different places water can go during its journey through the water cycle


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED

  • Pretend they are water drops moving through the water cycle

  • Write a creative story about their journey as a water drop through the water cycle 

​Grades 2-8 / Duration: 50-60 min. / In-person

​ Public Policy Simulation

Students assume the roles of citizens and elected officials in a representative community. They respond to a waste management crisis during a simulated public policy meeting. 

Students develop solutions using an overlapping analysis of these factors:

  • Environmental justice 
  • Social justice
  • Environmental impact 
  • Financial impact
  • Waste diversion

We focus on how the role of government and the impact of citizen involvement influence the policy-making process.

Grades 9-12 / Duration: 4+ hrs. / In-person or virtual

​ Rain, Rain Go Away

Student groups are presented with a flooding problem on a hypothetical residential property. They need to identify 2 reasons it is a problem and use a given set of supplies to come up with a solution. Solutions must be drawn and then explained to the class. Students are then led through a Power Point illustrating local examples of stormwater solutions, e.g. detention ponds, rain gardens, etc.                 
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Identify problems

  • Explore potential solutions and identify the best one

  • Work on solutions collaboratively with others

  • Understand how constructed stormwater solutions work


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • Illustrating the problem

  • Discussing possible solutions

  • Drawing the solutions

Grades 6-8 / Duration: one class period / In-person or virtual

​ Recycle Right Project

Think your school could use some help with recycling? Worried about how much waste is going to the landfill? Tackle a school recycling project!

The recycling educator will work with students to perform a waste audit. We will then develop and implement a project plan for your school. Recycle signage and supplies are available.

Grades K-12 / Duration varies / In-person

​ Salmon in the Classroom

Salmon are an important part of our ecosystem and salmon studies support Next Generation Science Standards -  Structures and Processes, Traits, Biological Evolution and Earth and Human Activity.

Complete individual lessons, study salmon virtually, or raise them in your classroom where available. 

Grades 3-4 / Duration varies / In-person or virtual

 Should I Flush This?

In a presentation and discussion, the educator and students learn about the difference of sewer and septic systems and how our behaviors can either help or harm our plumbing, septic, and sewer systems. The discussion will walk through the wastewater treatment system following the water as it leaves houses and businesses to pipes, treatment plants and then to the Puget Sound. Students will learn how much water they use each day, what impacts they make and best management practices for disposing of everyday items. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Describe what happens to water once it leaves a typical house/business in Kitsap County

  • Understand the need/value of wastewater treatment

  • List items used to treat wastewater

  • Name 4 items that should go down the toilet

  • Understand how household water systems fit within the water cycle

 HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

Observe what sewer pipes are made of and learn how wastewater travels through the system

Test the flush ability of items frequently disposed into the wastewater system

Answer questions about their daily interaction with water inside the home

Grades K-6 / Duration: 60-90 min. / In-person

 Showers, Sinks, Laundry & Toilets: It All Adds Up

In a question and answer style discussion, the educator and students go through their typical morning and evening routines of showering, brushing teeth, cooking food, washing hands and doing laundry and list the items they place in water that make it dirty. The discussion will walk through the wastewater treatment system following the water as it leaves houses and businesses to pipes, treatment plants, and then to the Puget Sound. Students will learn how much water they use each day, what impacts they make, and best management practices for disposing of everyday items.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Describe what happens to water once it leaves a typical house/business in Kitsap County

  • Understand the need/value of wastewater treatment

  • List items used to treat wastewater

  • Name four items that should go down the toilet

  • Understand how household water systems fit within the water cycle

    HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • Observe actual wastewater treatment plant process samples

  • View images of items frequently disposed into the wastewater system

  • Answer questions about their daily interaction with water inside the home.

Grades 3-6 / Duration: 30 min. (15 min. prep) / In-person

 Soak It Up

Students calculate the percentage of impervious surface and runoff in a pretend neighborhood. Then, staying within a budget, they decide how to retrofit the neighborhood to minimize the impervious surface and calculate the difference in the runoff.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Learn what a watershed is

  • Explain how building in a watershed impacts runoff

  • Identify changes that can be made in neighborhoods to minimize runoff


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED

  • Calculate the runoff from a mock neighborhood

  • Retrofit the mock neighborhood to reduce impervious (hard) surfaces

  • Attempt to be the group that reduces runoff by the most

Grades 4-9 / Duration: 50-90 min. / In-person

 Storm Drain Detectives

Tour your school’s stormwater system and regularly monitor the storm drains on the school’s property for debris, trash, and sediment. Includes observation and inspection for sediment level and regular recording of data. At the end of the project, a stormwater educator will work with students to analyze their data, looking at their claims, evidence, and reasoning and making connections to the larger watershed. Students will summarize and graph their results in a letter to the school’s maintenance staff explaining their findings. A 1-2 lesson modified option is available for those schools without a storm drain system.

Grade 5 / Duration: 1-2 hrs. or a several month project / In-person

 The Life of a Salmon

This salmon puppet show teaches students about the salmon life cycle, migration, and the natural and man made obstacles they encounter. An optional stuffed paper salmon craft activity is also available. Puppets and stage can be loaned out for a class puppet show. Older students put on the show for younger students! 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Identify and describe the five stages of the salmon life cycle

  • Name two things that could hinder salmon’s survival

  • Name two ways we can help salmon survive

  • Explain what to do with dead salmon in streams and why


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • View a puppet show

  • View a 4-stage display of salmon life cycle (egg, eyed egg, Alevin, fry)

Grades K-6 / Duration: 30-60 min. / In-person or virtual

 There's No Point to this Pollution

Use problem solving skills to solve a mystery and learn about the cumulative impacts of everyday pollution.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Identify different sources of pollution.

    • Demonstrate the cumulative effects of everyday pollution.
  • Learn to read and interpret a contour map while identifying important map clues about watersheds and water quality.

  • Graph, analyze, and interpret data sets to draw conclusions about a pollution source.

  • Compare local household and community everyday pollution to surface water quality standards.

  • List ways to reduce or eliminate everyday pollution

    HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • Use a topographic map to answer questions about a pretend watershed

  • Work in groups to determine the source of water pollution in the community

  • Share the group’s decisions with the class and provide supporting information  

Grades 5-8 / Duration: 60 min. / In-person or virtual

 Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

 By playing this matching game, students discover activities that affect the quality of our water and alternative activities to minimize that impact. Includes information on watersheds.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Students will learn what a watershed is

  • Identify at least 3 human activities that impact our waterways and alternatives

  • Understand the cumulative impact of pollution on our waterways

 

HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • Students play a matching game with a partner

  • Students “pollute” a container of water to see how pollution accumulates

  • Students identify alternatives to polluting activities

Grades 3-6 / Duration: 60 min. / In-person

 Waste Reduction and Recycling

Students investigate methods of waste reduction and how to recycle right.. Together, we explore solutions to reduce waste and improve the recycling system.

Virtual lessons include an interactive Kahoot game. In-person lessons include an interactive recycling relay race.

Grades K-5 / Duration: 60 min. / In-person or virtual

 Where Does the Rain Go?

Through this field trip on school property students learn the difference between storm drains and sewers; what watershed their school is in; and where the rain goes when it hits the ground. Includes a map of the school’s watershed.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

  • Identify the school’s watershed

  • Name at least two ways storm drains and sewers are different

  • Name three everyday activities that can pollute our water


HOW STUDENTS WILL BE ENGAGED:

  • In-class activity to identify the differences between storm drains and sewers

  • On-site field trip to tour the school’s storm drain system

  • View inside a storm drain

  • Play a game depicting examples of polluting activities and their cumulative affect on waterways

Grades 4-6 / Duration: 60 min. / In-person 

NOTE: This lesson requires a sufficient stormwater system on the school property.