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Watershed Explorers Online

Virtual Field Trips Being Planned for 2020-2021 School Year

Should the impacts of COVID-19 continue into the 2020-2021 school year and students are unable to attend in-person field trips, Solano RCD is hoping to have field educators guide small groups of students through a virtual field trip from a local park. Details and registration will be posted on this page.

Digital Resources Available Now

We're offering interactive videos, engaging handouts, and additional links for our digital Watershed Explorers program. We hope to get your students thinking like scientists and exploring nature both inside their home and just outside of it. Below is a preview of all of the content we can provide to you in a Google Drive folder so that you can organize and assign the materials however you and your students need them to be.

Request your free access to these resources by emailing

Top of Page Photos: (Left) Explorers look for pond life in a tray. (Center) An Explorer looks at the world through binoculars. (Right) Explorers smile after taking notes in their journals.


Preview: Watershed Explorers Online

  • What do you think of when you hear the word watershed?An image of a lagoon (Lagoon Lake) in front of a hillWatersheds are places where water moves and collects.

    Do you picture a shed or building with water in it? Do you think about water shedding off an umbrella or a rain jacket? A watershed is an area where all of the water on the ground drains or flows into a single point.

    Watersheds can be really big, like the Pacific Ocean, or they can be really small, like the storm drain on your street. If you think about it that way, everyone lives in a watershed no matter where they are. 

    In Solano County, our surface or stormwater eventually flows into the Sacramento River, Suisun Marsh, Carquinez Strait, or San Pablo Bay before going out to the San Francisco Bay and then the Pacific Ocean.

    Click here to see the Solano County Watershed Map and find out what watershed you live in.

    + Videos

     

    Explore different kinds of watersheds and watershed models with us. 

    Explore a Homemade Watershed with Laura

    Explore a Homemade Watershed with Laura

    Join Laura in her kitchen as she models a watershed using aluminum foil and other things she found around her home.

    Explore a Watershed Model with Wendy

    Explore a Watershed Model with Wendy

    Wendy shows how water flows with a model, right next to a creek in her watershed.

    Explore the Path of Water with Allison

    Explore the Path of Water with Allison

    Allison explores things in her backyard that remind her of watersheds.

    Explore a Homemade Watershed with Colin

    Explore a Homemade Watershed with Colin

    Have fun with Colin making water flow through a watershed he built in his backyard. Can you make one, too?

     

    These videos were created by staff using personal devices at their homes during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. Remember to follow your local shelter-at-home guidelines.
      

    + Activities

     
    • + Activity #1

      What is a Watershed Explorer?

      Student using a clipboard to take notes.Student using a clipboard to take notes.In this activity, draw what you think a Watershed Explorer does. Remember - YOU are a Watershed Explorer! 

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    • + Activity #2

      How Do Watersheds Work?

      A diagram of a watershed.A diagram of a watershed. Courtesy of redmond.gov
      In this activity, create a watershed model to test how watersheds work. 

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    • + Activity #3

      What's In Your Watershed?

      Student looking through binoculars next to a pond.Student looking through binoculars next to a pond.
      Are you in a watershed? What happens in a watershed? Investigate watershed phenomena! 

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

     

    + More Resources

     
    • Build a Watershed

      Build a Watershed

      These simple steps show you how to model a watershed with supplies you can find in your kitchen!

      Time: 15-30 minutes
      Source: PBS Kids 

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: PBS Kids

    • Explore Watersheds

      Explore Watersheds

      Use this interactive online tool to explore watersheds! 

      Time: 15-30 minutes
      Source: Discover Water 

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: Project WET

    • Mission: Water!

      Mission: Water!

      Where do animals in a city or town find fresh drinking water after days of no rain? Pretend to be thirsty squirrels, searching a dry neighborhood for water.

      Time: 30-60 minutes
      Source: PBS Kids

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: PBS Kids

       

     

     

  • A student maps the flow of water from street to ocean.A student maps the flow of water from street to ocean.storm drain with labelHave you seen a storm drain like this near home?When it rains, where is the first place that storm or rainwater goes after it hits the street? Why doesn't the street flood or fill up with water after it rains?

    Going through your neighborhood, you might have noticed openings on the side of the street next to the sidewalk. Perhaps you wondered, "What is that? What goes in there? Is it a sewer?" That opening is called a storm drain, and that is where stormwater goes after it hits the street.

    Now it's your turn to become a storm drain expert. Watch the videos below to learn about what a storm drain is, how it works, and why it is so important that only rain goes down the storm drain.  
     

    + Videos

     

    Learn about storm drains with us! The next time you go for a walk in your neighborhood, see how many storm drains you can find. Where does your stormwater go?

    Follow the Water with Lynette

    Follow the Water with Lynette

    Where is all of that rain water going? Follow it to the storm drain with Lynette.

    Follow the Water with Lidia

    Follow the Water with Lidia

    What can end up in our storm drains if we aren't careful? Find out with Lidia.

     

    These videos were created by staff using personal devices at their homes during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. Remember to follow your local shelter-at-home guidelines.
      

    + More Resources

     
    • H2O on the Go

      H2O on the Go

      Where does water flow—and not flow—in a city? Kids model surfaces that absorb water and those that don't, and investigate structures that control water flow in cities and towns.

      Time: 15-30 minutes
      Source: PBS Kids 

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: PBS Kids

    • Stormwater Walk

      Stormwater Walk

      Become a stormwater detective! Take a walk around your school or home. While walking, observe and record things that can affect the amount of stormwater runoff; such as hard surfaces, planted areas, downspouts and more. Collect data and find out if your house passes the stormwater test!

      Time: 30-60 minutes
      Source: University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: Solano Resource Conservation District

    • Stormwater Activity Book

      Stormwater Activity Book

      Learn more about stormwater by doing the activities in this stormwater activity guide!

      Time: 5+ minutes
      Source: University of Utah Water Quality Extension

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: Solano Resource Conservation District

     

     

  • My PostWe use water every day to help keep clean.
    Courtesy of UnSplash
    How have you used water today? Did you wash your hands? Flush the toilet? Did you drink some?

    You use water every day. Water is a big part of our lives - so much that we can't live very long without drinking it. Have you ever wondered where the water used in your home came from, or how it even got there? 

    Explore the journey of water from its source (where drinking water comes from) to your sink in our videos.

     

      

     

    + Videos

     

    Where does your tap water come from, and how does it get to your home? Follow the water with us from the "source" (where it comes from) to your sink.

    Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, or Suisun City Water

    Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, or Suisun City Water

    Where does your drinking water come from? Well, it depends on where in Solano County you live. If you live in Vallejo, Benicia, Fairfield, or Suisun City, stick around and find your water source with Laura.
    Dixon, Vacaville, and Rio Vista Water

    Dixon, Vacaville, and Rio Vista Water

    Do you live in Dixon, Vacaville, or Rio Vista? Find out where your tap water comes from with Lidia.

    These videos were created by staff using personal devices at their homes during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. Remember to follow your local shelter-at-home guidelines.
      

    + Activities

     

    • Activity #1

      How Are You Connected To Water?

      A cartoon map of Solano County's water resources.A cartoon map of Solano County's water resources.In this activity, pretend to be a drop of water that flows from its source (where it comes from) to where it goes. 

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    • Activity #2

      How Much Water Do You Use?

      A cartoon map of Solano County's water resources.How much water do you use while brushing your teeth?How much water do you think you use each day? With help from a family member, use this form to keep track how much water you use in one day.

      Do you use more than you think? 

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    + More Resources

     
    • Thirstin's Wacky Water Adventure

      Thirstin, Cal EPA's water education mascotMeet Thirstin, the USEPA's Water Mascot!
      Learn more about drinking water and where it comes from by going on Thirstin's Wacky Water Adventure!

      Time: 5+ minutes
      Source: USEPA 

      See the Activity

      Photo Credit: US Environmental Protection Agency

    • Earth Water Filter

      Using materials in and around your home, make a filter that turns muddy water clear - just like the water treatment plant does!

      Time: 15-30 minutes
      Source: Discover Water 

      See the Activity
     

     

  • DSC05208 2Flowers start to open on the flower spike of a California buckeye.Flowers blooming. Bees buzzing. Sun blazing. Leaves falling. Rain pouring.

    These are some signs that the seasons are changing between spring, summer, fall, and winter. But have you ever stopped to observe, or notice, all of the small changes around you?

    You don't need to go far to observe nature changing. You can know it's happening just by observing a plant or animal out the window, or getting up close with a plant that is near your home. When you take your observations and write them down, you are being a scientist.

    Scientists that study how plants and animals change between the seasons are called phenologists (fee-nol-uh-gist). Anyone can be a phenologist! 

    Watch our videos and use our tools to learn how you can be this special kind of nature scientist.

    + Videos

     

    Learn to think like a scientist and explore the signs of the season with us.

    Think Like a Scientist with Lynette

    Think Like a Scientist with Lynette

    Learn to think like a scientist with Lynette. You will practice making observations (I notice...), asking questions (I wonder...), and making connections (It reminds me of...) just like real scientists do.

    Seek Out Spring with Allison

    Seek Out Spring with Allison

    Nature is all around us no matter where we are, and it doesn't follow the same calendar people do - it has its own! Investigate the signs of spring with Allison while thinking like a scientist.
    Learn About Phenology with Lidia

    Learn About Phenology with Lidia

    When we draw or write about what we notice, we are being scientists. Learn how to be a scientist called a phenologist (fee-nol-uh-jist) with Lidia.

    Practice Nature Journaling with Laura

    Practice Nature Journaling with Laura

    Learn how to record what you notice and your questions in a notebook just like real scientists. This time we'll "zoom in and zoom out" to explore a plant.

    These videos were created by staff using personal devices at their homes during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. Remember to follow your local shelter-at-home guidelines.

     

     

    + Activities

    • Activity #1

      What is Phenology?

      PondC WE5A third grader observes an oak tree.In this activity, you will use "I Notice, I Wonder, It Reminds Me Of" to understand phenology (fee-nol-uh-gee).

      Can you figure out what phenology means?

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    • Activity #2

      Fun with Phenology!

      DSC05950Children writing about how the seasons change.
      From Nature Bingo to tracking changes, have fun figuring out what "phenology" means!  

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH - coming soon

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    • Activity #3

      Nature's Calendar

      Students doing a nature scavenger hunt.Students on a nature scavenger hunt.In this scavenger hunt, find out what season nature says we are in! Is it winter, spring, summer, or fall?

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH - coming soon

      Includes instructions for caregiver.

    + More Resources

    Resources may be posted for the 2020-2021 school year.

     

  • A picture of trash in a creek. The trash includes styrofoam, plastic bottles, cans, and other plastic products.By recycling and throwing trash away the right way, you can help make sure our waterways don't fill up with litter.

    We invite YOU to be a Watershed Protector!

    Check out our videos to learn about how we can protect our watersheds in the following ways:

    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (RRR)

    Did you know that after the garbage truck picks up our trash, it is brought to a landfill and buried? Check out Solano RCD’s video on ways that we can use the 3 R’s. The landfill should be the very last option – only items we can’t recycle or reuse.

    California Redemption Value (CRV)

    Every time you buy a drink in a BOTTLE or CAN, you are paying a little bit extra for the container and YOU CAN get that money back. Check out Solano RCD’s video on how CRV works, and what you can and can’t bring to a CRV center. You’ll also learn some tips on what’s recyclable and what is not.

    Used Motor Oil

    Most cars and busses rely on motor oil to help them run smoothly. When that oil gets dirty, we have to take it out of the engine and put clean oil back in. What are you supposed to do with that dirty motor oil? Check out Solano RCD’s videos on the do’s and don’ts of motor oil disposal.

    Water Conservation

    Check out our water conservation video to learn tips and tricks on how to save water throughout your home, and why that’s important to do in our state. Remember, we never know when the next drought will come.

    Get a superhero cape ready, because you will be Watershed Super Protector after watching these videos. Please send us ideas of how YOU plan to protect your watershed at  

    + Videos

     

    Find out how you can be a Watershed Protector.

    RRR with Lidia

    RRR with Lidia

    RRR! No, we're not being pirates - we're talking about the "Three R's" - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Learn about the Three R's and composting with Lidia.

    Exchange Cans for Cash with Allison

    Exchange Cans for Cash with Allison

    Every time you purchase a can or bottled drink at the store, you have to pay an extra 5 or 10 cents. But you can also get that money back by taking your cans and bottles to a Certified Recycling Center. Learn about the CRV (California Redemption Value) Program with Allison.

    Recycle used oil with Lynette

    Recycle used oil with Lynette

    What are you supposed to do with used car oil? Find out with Lynette - and then ask your family what they do with their used oil.

    Make a Watershed Garden with Lidia

    Make a Watershed Garden with Lidia

    What do watersheds and gardens have in common? Find out with Lidia in this rain garden adventure in stopping water waste.

    Save Water with Laura

    Save Water with Laura

    Learn tips and tricks on how to save water throughout your home, and why that’s important to do here in Solano County and throughout California. Remember, we never know when the next drought will come.

     

    These videos were created by staff using personal devices at their homes during the COVID-19 shelter-at-home order. Remember to follow your local shelter-at-home guidelines.

     

    + Activities

    • + Activity #1

      Petrolia and the Case of Used Oil Recycling

      Student using a clipboard to take notes.Meet Petrolia, Solano County's Used Oil Avenger!Help Petrolia help someone else make a good decision with their used oil!

      Download
      ENGLISH  | SPANISH - coming soon

      Includes a list of Solano County used oil recycling centers and instructions.

    • + Activity #2

      Petrolia and the Case of the CRV Refund

      Student using a clipboard to take notes.Meet Petrolia as she goes to recycle her CRV cans and bottles!Color in this comic featuring Petrolia - the Used Oil Avenger, as they teach kids just like you about California Redemption Value, or CRV.

      We want to see your recyclables!

      Families are encouraged to collect their CRV cans and bottles, take a photo with their collection, and post it on Facebook or Instagram with #WERECYCLE! 

      Download
      ENGLISH 

      Includes list of Solano County CRV recycling centers.

    • + Activity #3

      How Will You Protect Your Watershed?

      Ducks swimming in a pond.Ducks are just some of the animals you can help protect from pollution.
      Congratulations! You are now a Watershed Protector. You have learned what things can hurt our watershed and how to help keep it clean and healthy.

      What will you do to protect your watershed?

      Download
      ENGLISH | SPANISH

    + More Resources

    Resources may be posted for the 2020-2021 school year. 

     


We'd love to hear about or see what your students are doing and learning from the Watershed Explorers online program! Please encourage students and their families to upload student creations or activities (pictures, videos, graphics, poetry, nature journals, stories or essays, other forms of art, or even just a comment) by clicking here.

Contact Us

Solano Resource Conservation District

1170 N Lincoln, Ste. 110
Dixon, CA 95620

Phone: (707) 678-1655 x 101

Send us an email

Solano RCD

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