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Curricula

The River Authority has many resources for educational needs regarding topics including the San Antonio River, water quality, watersheds and erosion. The River Authority also works closely with partner organizations to extend resources that can fit any classroom's needs regarding aquatic science topics. All River Authority lessons and resources provided are TEKS-aligned.

The River Authority Curriculum

Science, Technology, Engineer, and Math Career Video

 

The engaging and STEM-related video (9 minutes) above discusses the ways that your students are connected to and impact the 240-mile San Antonio River and the endangered whooping crane that winters near the river's terminus in San Antonio Bay. The video examines scientific research projects that demonstrate how aquatic and marine biologists use wildlife species in the river and bay as indicators of water quality. Students will learn how their voluntary actions can create a sustainable river resource for not only the wildlife but for everyone's use into the future. Find video-based classroom activities for before and after viewing here and an assessment rubric here: River Authority Video Activities.

Watersheds

Build Your Own Watershed

Learn how to create a very simple, yet educationally powerful, 3-dimensional watershed model with your students using foil and cups. Learn about these materials.

Texas Aquatic Science*: Chapter 3 - What is Your Watershed Address?

Appropriate for middle school and high school students, this on-line tool offers an informative video, literature for both students and teachers, rigorous questions and teacher lesson plans.
Learn more about these materials.

Nonpoint Source Pollution

Stormwater Runoff and Pollutant Travel through Watersheds

Use this hands-on activity to model the distribution of pollutants across land and into our creeks and waterways. 
Learn more about these materials.

Texas Aquatic Science*: Chapter 14 – Water for People and the Environment

Appropriate for middle school and high school students, this online tool offers an informative video, literature for both students and teachers, rigorous questions and teacher lesson plans.
Learn more about these materials.

Be Watershed Wise! 

Use these public service commercials and educational posters to showcase how a change in voluntary actions can create a healthier watershed and river. Perhaps have students create their own videos, public service announcements and posters that try to affect positive and informed choices in their community.
Learn more about these materials.

Water Quality

Water Quality Testing 

In this hands-on activity, students will learn about how abiotic factors, such as pH, temperature, nitrates, and dissolved oxygen, are evaluated to assess water quality. They will also learn how land use and human activity in the watershed will alter these factors. 
Learn more about these materials.

Water quality assessment using real-time data

Students will use the online and GIS-driven dataset and interactive map, using real data that is collected across the San Antonio River watershed to evaluate how rainfall, and other abiotic factors, relate to the overall health and water quality of the San Antonio River and its tributaries. Appropriate for high school students.
Learn more about these materials.

Collect and Assess Macroinvertebrates

Whether you go outside to a local creek or pond, or bring samples back to lab, this hands-on lesson asks students to identify the biotic factors, such as larval insects and small aquatic organisms, which can be evaluated to assess water quality.
Learn more about these materials.

Bays and Estuaries

Ins and Outs of the Estuary – Whooping Crane Dilemma

Students will interactively model changing conditions in an estuary and the consequences for fish or other organisms living in the estuary, through playing various roles as a whooping crane population.
Learn more about these materials.

Texas Aquatic Science*: Chapter 11 - Bays and Estuaries

Appropriate for middle school and high school students, this online tool offers an informative video, literature for both students and teachers, rigorous questions and teacher lesson plans.
Learn more about these materials.

Estuaries in the Balance: The Texas Coastal Bend

A multimedia learning adventure that is an interactive journey following four key species in and near the San Antonio Bay – whooping cranes, blue crabs, oysters, and redfish. You will also investigate how humans can positively and negatively intersect with their fascinating world. Includes educational videos, interactive models, and teacher's guide.
Learn more about these materials.

Whooping Crane Lessons

Whooping cranes are an important species of the San Antonio Bay and the estuary ecosystem at the mouth of the San Antonio River. To discover more about this endangered bird species and how humans play a role in their population with educational lessons and activities, visit the International Crane Foundation's website.

Making Informed Decisions and Taking Action

Building a rain garden at your school. Rain gardens are a great way to learn the value of keeping rainwater where it lands, before it can runoff and pick up pollutants on the way to creeks and waterways, as well as beautify your campus and even support pollinators and migratory birds!

How to Build a Rain Garden videos

Locally relevant plant list

Volunteerism

SARA's Watershed Wise Warriors are volunteers that serve as community defenders of the flora and fauna of the waterways. Warriors give of their time and energy to advance the sustainability of the watershed. Individuals 15 years and older may become one of the River Authority's volunteers.

Learn how to volunteer

SARA's Citizen Science Program is fun and important work for any age. Data collected using the online app iNaturalist on the flora and fauna along the river and around the San Antonio River watershed is important for monitoring the quality of the environment that leads to a healthy river. You can create a project around your campus or even a rain garden. Go to www.iNaturalist.org to learn more, locate San Antonio River projects and take part in this significant, yet simple, data collection. Learn more about becoming a Watershed Wise Citizen Scientist.

*Information courtesy of Texas Aquatic Science partners: Texas Parks and Wildlife, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, and the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. More information at www.texasaquaticscience.org.