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New York Water Science Center

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Students learning about ground water modeling.

USGS Outreach Activities

stream gaging

Student learning about stream gaging

Earth Smart

The New York Water Science Center has developed a collection of Earth Science materials available on loan for use by teachers and adults within the Albany Capital District. A brief list of items available for loan includes the ground water model; rock, fossil, mineral, and sand collections; landform display, water cycle model, contour mapping tools; a variety of books, posters, videos, and maps. Email for more details if interested.

Frost Valley YMCA

The NYWCS maintains a Scientific Research Partnership with the Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, NY. Science related classes in Acid Rain, Forest Ecology, Freshwater Ecology, Geology and Watersheds incorporate the USGS research done onsite. A real-time surface water gaging station is maintained here as part of our outreach program? This YMCA was established in 1901 as one of the nation’s first summer camps. It now provides four seasons of outdoor, experiential and educational opportunities on its 6,000 acre site. The YMCA is internationally known as a leader in environmental research, practice and education. The centerpiece of their environmental education efforts is their residential school program, which helps 14,000 students and teachers each year learn to become responsible stewards of the natural world.

Learning about ground water modeling at the Boy Scout Camporee.

Learning about ground water modeling at the Boy Scout Camporee

Earth Day (April)

The NYWSC participates in the annual Earth Day Celebration held at the New York State Museum in Albany. In past years we have played the Water Cycle Game developed by Project WET (described below), made miniature aquifers and/or presented the ground-water model. A wide variety of literature is also available.

Earth Science Week(mid-October)

Earth Science Week is sponsored by the American Geological Institute (AGI) and its Member Societies on behalf of the geoscience community. The U.S. Geological is one of those sponsors. Each year a “toolkit” is distributed by AGI upon request. This packet contains a variety of literature appropriate for all levels of students, as well as the general public. Additional resources are available online.

Project WET (Water Education for Teachers)

This program is designed for educators of K-12 students. The goal of this program is “to facilitate and promote the awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources through the development and dissemination of classroom ready teaching aids …”. Topics include physical and chemical properties of water, water as essential for life, water connects all earth systems, water as a natural resources, water management, and cultural and social contexts of water. The NYWSC uses some of these activities in various outreach activities.

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving the quality of science education, increasing student interest in science and providing recognition for outstanding achievement in science education by both students and teachers. These goals are accomplished through classroom activities, research, training workshops and the encouragement of intramural, district, regional, state and national tournaments. The USGS partners with the Groundwater Foundation and other agencies and organizations to help make Science Olympiad events possible. The NYWCS has coached students in the Awesome Aquifer activity at the middle school regional competition.

preparing to stream gage

Preparing to stream gage

World Water Monitoring Day

Adopted by Water Environment Federation (WEF) in July 2006, World Water Monitoring Day (WWMD) is an international outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world. Held annually between September 18 and October 18, the program engages communities in monitoring the condition of local rivers, streams, estuaries and other water bodies. Since its inception in 2002, more than 80,000 people have participated in 50 countries.

Topo Bingo/Water Jeopardy

The USGS has developed variations of two popular games. Topo Bingo is taught to familiarize students with topographic maps, the symbols used on them and some basic topographic features. Water Jeopardy is a game of water-related questions geared toward 5-6th grade. With each correct answer students earn cups of water to fill their rain gage. The first to fill their gage wins the game. Topo Bingo is available by request from Water Jeopardy is available from the USGS store.

Contact Information

Margaret Phillips
U.S. Geological Survey
425 Jordan Road
Troy , NY 12180-8349


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Page Last Modified: Thursday, 10-Jan-2013 08:57:14 EST