Even with uncertainties due to COVID-19, we remain committed more than ever to our mission to develop and share science-based knowledge to benefit the environment and economies of the Lake Champlain Basin. Lake Champlain Sea Grant is currently working to transition workshops and educational resources to virtual formats to promote scientific investigation, and the education of tomorrow's scientists, in the Lake Champlain Basin.
Fall 2020 Virtual Programs
Zoom a Scientist
The Lake Champlain Sea Grant team hosted a "Zoom a Scientist" series this past spring. It focused on watershed and aquatic science. This virtual webinar series featured scientists from the University of Vermont Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, SUNY Plattsburgh, the Lake Champlain Research Institute, and our partner organizations. Sessions were open to all participants from school age to adults. Some sessions that were more technical were marked as more suitable for middle and high school students.
Watershed Explorers Challenge
The program is a series of 10 activities rooted in the NGSS practices and cover a range of topics in the realm of watershed science (e.g., make a watershed model, identify the connections in an aquatic food web, determine stream health from benthic samples, etc.). The program is captured in a single booklet that folks can get mailed and/or pickup at community hubs (e.g., libraries, food pantry, etc.). This will be an asynchronous learning experience for students, families, etc. to engage in. Students that complete all the activities in the booklet will be awarded this title and receive a certificate. More information coming soon!
Stream Monitoring and Stewardship - Adobe Spark Exploration (more information coming soon!)
Lake Champlain Live - Adobe Spark Exploration (more information coming soon!)
Keeping the Balance - Adobe Spark Exploration (more information coming soon!)
- Benthic Sampling with a Kicknet: This video by LCSG education staff walks you through what it is like to gather a benthic macroinvertebrate sample with a kicknet.
- Lake Champlain Basin Program Clean Water Videos: Explore animations and videos to learn why phosphorus is a problem, what the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is, and how people working on the landscape in a variety ways are helping to achieve the goals of the Lake Champlain phosphorus TMDL plan.
- Dive In Series: This page on the Lake Champlain Basin Program website has a variety of videos of people participating in activities varying from aquatic invasive species removal to water quality sampling.
- Bringing Back Salmon: This is a three-part, short series on the history, current research, and restoration activities related to the land-locked Lake Champlain Atlantic Salmon.
Virtual Resources List
- Sea Grant Learning at Home Resources by Region
- NOAA Live! Webinar Series for children in grades 2nd-8th. Webinars are live-streamed via GoToMeeting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 am EDT until June 12th.
- The National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) is offering a 30-day free membership.
Center for Great Lakes Literacy has several lessons and activities on freshwater fish. This is relevant here, as many of the species that inhabit the Great Lakes also live in Lake Champlain.
- Fish Identification Lesson: Each family of fishes in the Great Lakes region has physical traits that set it apart from others, called distinguishing characteristics. These characteristics help fish survive in their environment. By observing and comparing these features, students learn that fish, like other living organisms, can be organized and classified into meaningful groups for identification and further study.
- Fashion-a-Fish: Younger students might enjoy this lesson to create a fish and explore adaptations for survival in various fish species.
- Skype a Scientist: This program matches classes/families with a scientist to meet on Skype for a question and answer session.
- Virtual Canoe Race: Free 3-week learning game for upper elementary and middle school students (starts April 6)
- 50 Environmental Activities (kids can do at home): This is a great article that outlines specific actions students can take on a host of environmental challenges, from waterways to climate change and healthier communities.
- Story Walk: Though Audubon Vermont programming is canceled in response to COVID-19, their nature trails remain open.
- Sit spots: Find a quiet spot in your yard and try to count how many animals you see, what kinds of birds you hear, what you observe, etc. You may be surprised. Try at different times of the day, too.
- Nature Walks: Project Learning Tree has some great ideas on ways to engage with nature during a walk in your place.
- Phenology: Start tracking the seasonal cycles of plants and animals to become more in tune with the rhythm of the Champlain Valley while collecting data for the greater good.
Looking for something specific or need help regarding virtual watershed science activities? Reach out to our team at watershd [at] uvm.edu