Distance Learning

Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences

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NatureBridge student explores the local creek in Prince William Forest Park

NatureBridge is excited to offer fully funded virtual learning programs this school year in partnership with the Department of Energy & Environment. The new virtual programs are designed to provide students with a hands-on interactive experience and an opportunity to connect with one another and their NatureBridge educators. There are three program options which will all include live sessions with NatureBridge educators and asynchronous follow-up activities. All three of the options can be adjusted to suit your needs.

Stewardship Action Project: Students engage in developing an action project focused on a local environmental issue.

Environmental Scientists: Over the course of three to five interactive sessions, educators lead students through hands-on activities that will lead to a greater understanding of watersheds, ecosystems and human impacts.

Virtual Camp: Through this extended experience, students will participate in team-building activities and a variety of lessons involving watersheds, habitats and adaptations.

Programs are available for 5th grade students. Learning kits will be provided. Logistics for delivery and distribution of the kits will be discussed during the program planning and scheduling process.

Standards & Outcomes


  • Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS2 Ecosystems, LS2. A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems ESS3.C: Human impacts on Earth systems, ETS1: Engineering Design, ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
  • Practices: Developing and using models, asking questions/ defining problems, Planning and carrying out investigations, Constructing explanations and designing solutions, Analyzing and interpreting data,  Engaging in argument from evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
  • Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models; Patterns; Cause and Effect, Science Addresses Questions About the Natural and Material World

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize the Chesapeake Bay Watershed on a map
  • Define a watershed
  • Virtually visit points of interest within the watershed via Google Earth
  • Make connections to the watershed in their home communities
  • Connect with NatureBridge educators and classmates
  • Work in small teams to conduct a virtual water quality test of Quantico Creek
  • Make claims about the health of the creek supported with evidence collected in their breakout session and using reasoning from prior knowledge
  • Learn about indicator species, macro invertebrates and how other parts of an ecosystem affect stream health
  • Explore an environmental issue in their own community and develop some potential solutions

Adult Expectations

At least one teacher will be present throughout each live online session. Other adults may attend by invitation from the teacher or group coordinator. All attending adults must complete NatureBridge’s Participant Registration Form in advance of the session. 

It is the responsibility of attending adults to support student learning and safety during large group instruction and small breakout sessions by following the expectations listed below. 

  • Support students in staying on task. 
  • Address discipline concerns, while allowing students to be engaged and answer questions on their own. 
  • Demonstrate a positive attitude and model inclusive behavior.
  • Communicate with the group’s NatureBridge educator about the educational plan and offer constructive feedback when appropriate.

Outdoor Opportunities for Students

Schedule a Program

To learn more and schedule a program, please fill out our Request Information below or contact Jim Serfass at jserfass@naturebridge.org or 703-634-9041.

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