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Stream Study

Class Details

3 Hours

4th Grade to Adult


What does “healthy” mean for a stream? Is Sawmill Creek healthy?

Students will examine the physical, chemical, and biological properties of Sawmill Creek. Wearing boots that are provided, and working in small groups, the students will test stream velocity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen. They will use nets to sample the diversity of aquatic animal life and will evaluate the health of the stream based on their findings.

Lesson Plan


  1. All living and non-living components of an environment interact with one another to form an ecosystem.
  2. A complex natural system is more stable than a simple one, and more able to absorb disturbances.
  3. Collecting data and making observations and comparisons are processes of knowing in science.


  • Measure the water velocity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen of Sawmill Creek.
  • Examine and report upon the diversity of aquatic creatures captured.
  • Describe how water velocity, temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen affect the living organisms of Sawmill Creek.
  • Recommend actions to preserve healthy stream environments.