Headwaters Students Visit the Sea – Highlights from Acton Wakefield Watershed Alliance Activities

This Spring students from the headwaters communities of Wakefield, NH and Acton, ME connected to the sea with visits to the Gundalow Company’s new boat Piscataqua.  Both schools were blessed with perfect weather on May 23rd for the 6th grade from Wakefield’s Paul School and June 8th for Acton Elementary’s 5th and 6th grades.

With support from the Dorr Foundation, AWWA enriched the schools’ science curriculum by engaging the students in a series of classroom activities focused on watershed science, biodiversity and animal adaptations through the “AWWA in the Schools – Watershed Science for Our Future Community Leaders” program. Of particular interest to the students were the live macroinvertebrates brought into the classroom for hands-on study. According to Kelly “Even though it did kind of creep me out a little, it still was achully [sic] pretty cool”. Meagan  – “I really loved seeing my friend Jenna’s face when she pulled out the crayfish.  She named him Bob.” 

The culminating event included setting sail on the Piscataqua to learn about marine communities and human impacts to the Great Bay estuary where waters of Wakefield and Acton flow, experience the history of gundalows, and to investigate the inhabitants of the tide pools along the river’s edge. The excitement and engagement of the students was palpable and all went home with a new appreciation of the connections between the headwaters and downstream. “I learned so much, like how pollution affects fish…” Brooke 

The classroom activities and field trip were supported with funds from the Acton Wakefield Watersheds Alliance, the Dorr Foundation and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Paul School Students View Zooplankton with BioscopesActon Students Aboard the Piscataqua Learn to Capture Zooplankton

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