Water Quality Classroom Resources

Duke’s Community Science Initiative combines community science with environmental literacy activities in order to connect middle school students to water quality issues in their local communities. This program is meant to be interdisciplinary in nature in order to allow students to explore and discover how water quality impacts them and the community.

Our lesson plans and activities serve to introduce middle and high school students to the concepts of storm-water runoff and have them consider how to lessen its effects. We aim to stress connectivity between different components of a watershed, as well as connections to our environment. These lesson plan links students with local researchers and new technology in order to spur creative thinking. Activities are locally focused in order to inspire students with experiential-based learning in their schoolyard and community. It is our goal to provide educators with hands-on exploration activities to get students to consider important water quality issues in a way that integrates into existing curriculum.


Water Quality Classroom Activities:

Storm Water Activities

Microplastics in the Water Column

Microplastics on the Beach

Students conducting Toxicity activity.



Microplastic Toxicity



Students feeding Aiptasia pallida with plastic pieces.
Aiptasia pallida with ingested plastic.







Microplastics as Invertebrate Food

Marine Debris and Fouling