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The Water We Drink

The Water We Drink is a two-day workshop that will get your hands dirty and your feet wet! You’ll learn how to conduct biological, bacterial, chemical and physical tests, which you can use to investigate the health of a local stream with your students.

Water is the source of all life; humans, animals, plants and insects all depend on a clean and plentiful water supply for survival. Toronto is divided into 11 different watersheds, each with its own characteristics and facing its own threats. The Water We Drink will introduce you to your watershed (and its hidden tributaries) and equip you with the knowledge needed to explore an aquatic ecosystem near your school. You'll get your hands dirty and your feet wet investigating the factors that affect the health and distribution of living things in watery environments. You will leave this workshop ready to engage your students in a water quality monitoring project in your community, which you can revisit all semester and for years to come!

© EcoSpark

A typical workshop will include:

  1. Hands-on experience using monitoring equipment to test for E. coli and total coliforms and measure the turbidity, dissolved oxygen content and pH of a stream
  2. Time spent sampling and identifying 26 benthic macroinvertebrates (bugs!)
  3. Information about what to do with your water quality data so that your students can contribute to real scientific research
  4. An overview of major issues in Canadian waters like wastewater pollution, groundwater contamination and shoreline litter
  5. Lots of take-away resources and equipment, plus up to two hours of personal, follow-up support, to help you bring what you have learned to life at your school

Curriculum Connections

The content covered in The Water We Drink can be applied across numerous grades and subjects taught in Ontario. However, we find connections to the following courses and strands are some of the strongest:





STEM Education

The Water We Drink helps teachers incorporate STEM education and STSE expectations into everyday lessons. Teachers who participate in this workshop will:

  • Learn to use a number of water quality measuring instruments
  • Connect with people working in the field
  • Calculate the health of a stream using different indicators
  • Discover water issues in their own community
  • Construct a watershed model

Upcoming dates for this workshop:


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