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Resources for Teachers

South Platte Renew supports Pre-K-12 educators with information and resources about the water renewal process that complement the classroom curriculum.  We offer free interactive classroom presentations and virtual tours, as well as educational materials. We offer free field trips to experience the facility, to see our process of renewing water and recovering vital resources from the flow that enters the plant daily.

Do you have an idea for a service project?  We can support that too!

Contact our Education and Outreach Specialist for more information on our educational opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to current health concerns regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are not going into the classroom.  If you are interested in having a virtual classroom visit or a tour of our facility through Microsoft Teams or Zoom, please contact our Education and Outreach Specialist to schedule.  We also check out activity kits for teachers to use with their classroom in a socially distancing environment.  Thank you for your understanding and your continued interest.



Deb leads a school field trip tour

Field Trips / Tours

We offer free educational field trips for school groups interested in learning more about the water renewal process. Tours can vary from 30 minutes to three hours depending on the tour type. Typical school group tours are 1 hour and 30 minutes. The fieldtrip includes a presentation/video and walking tour of the plant. Participants are required to wear closed toed shoes. Water testing and visits to the South Platte River can be provided upon request for high school student groups. We can accommodate 1 – 25 participants per group.

Register your students for a field trip

Classroom Presentations/ Kits to borrow for your classroom

         Schedule a thirty minute or one hour presentation for your classroom, homeschooling group, or scouting troop and let us bring the learning to you.  Classroom teachers may also check out the kits to use in their classroom as an enrichment activity to lessons.

**NOTE:  Due to COVID-19 concerns, many kits have been adapted to individual student use and can be checked out to the classrooms, then returned for disifection and restocking.  Others, have the ability to accomodate social distancing practices. 

Please let us know how we may assist you in equipping your students and classrooms?

**The Long Haul

Have you ever wondered how people get water to their house when there is not a faucet in the kitchen or bathroom? If you lived in a remote village, how would you get your water? In small villages, children, and sometimes adults go to the public water source (river, stream or lake) and haul water every day for the family to use for cooking, cleaning and drinking. Through this interactive lesson kids (K – 4) can experience hauling the water for their families. The activity can be adapted for any age to include longer treks and added obstacles.

**The Incredible Journey: A Water Cycle Game

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a drop of water?  What would your life be like out in nature?  One day you might be sipped up by a thirsty bear, then left behind for to water a plant, evaporated into the clouds, then precipitated down as snow to become part of a glacier.  In the fast paced activity students will moved from each location collecting beads to build their story.  The student then will share their story through creative storytelling to explain the journey that they took as a water drop.  This activity can be adapted for grades 2 – 6.

**Ancient Toilets

How did the Romans do their business?  What did they use for toilet paper?  Through interactive play we show the kids (K-4) how the Roman toilets worked and explain that thanks to the engineering of these toilets, we have advanced to flushing toilets that we have in our homes.  The activity can be adapted for any age by altering the process results and adding a short discussion on cleaning wastewater.

**Building Water Filters

This hands-on activity allows students to build a basic water filter by repurposing a plastic bottle.  By simply adding cheesecloth, sand, gravel (and charcoal for grades 4 – 6) and a rubberband, students build a filter for dirty water.  We will discuss the importance of cleaning water and the processes used at the Water Renewal Facility.  We will talk about the different type of filters used and have some fun with experimentation.  This activity can be adapted for grades K-6.

We Are The Watershed

What is a watershed?  Learn about head waters, tributaries, estuaries and how they all are important to our many watersheds.  How do seasons and weather affect the flow in the watershed?  Through this fast paced activity, students will “act out” the flow during storms/droughts and seasons to show the differences, then discuss how this impacts conservation and water usage.  We also discuss the value of conservation even in wetter years.  This is an activity that can be adapted for grades 2 – 5, or even older students as an icebreaker in conjunction with a presentation.

**Who Polluted the South Platte River?

Have you ever thought what your personal impact is on the river? Through this interactive lesson we will have the kids help us pollute the river by taking on the role of different contributors. They may be an animal, business owner or a citizen recreating. Many other options are available. This activity will enlighten students (K – 5) of their impact on our river, and how to be a better stewards through collaborative care of our environment.

More kits to come

If you know of an activity or theme that you would like to see, please contact our Education and Outreach Specialist to discuss possibilities of creating the activity. 

River/Waterway Sampling

Is your school near a safe to access water source? River, stream, creek, pond, other? Through water sampling, students (grades 3 – 5) learn about Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Turbidity and Ph of the water around them. We discuss how climate and human factors can impact the results. Also, students will brainstorm and discuss the effects of these results on the animal and plant life.

Likewise, if the students are in high school, we can come to a water source near your school, or you can visit us at the South Platte for river sampling. We will complete the same tests of the water to determine Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Turbidity and pH. Included in this experience, we will attempt to capture and identify a variety of macroinvertebrates.

Education Materials

Worksheets/Activity Sheets

We provide a variety of worksheets for students, to add to the classroom, homeschooling, remote learning and just for fun!  More added regularly.

Virtual Plant Tour

Let us bring the Plant to you! We have a PowerPoint presentation of the entire process from influent to effluent. This tour will allow students of all ages to experience the entire Plant without leaving the classroom. We will discuss each stage of the process and answer questions as we go along. By doing the virtual tour, it allows the students to see inside buildings that we are not able to share during a walking tour, for safety reasons. With our virtual tours, we bring samples from the stages of the process, so the students can see how the wastewater is cleaned and the vital resources are recovered.

Additional Links

Forests to Faucets Teacher Resources

Forests to Faucets Teacher Resources - The USDA Forest Service Forests to Faucets project uses GIS to model and map the continental United States land areas most important to surface drinking water, the role forests play in protecting these areas, and the extent to which these forests are threatened by development, insects and disease, and wildland fire.

Project Wet

Project Wet – This is a water education program for educators and young people.

EPA Office of Water

EPA Office of Water – Explore the Environmental Protection Agency’s student water resources.

EPA Environmental Education

EPA Environmental Education Outreach and education program that increases environmental awareness for citizens of the Rocky Mountains and Plains region.

EPA Environmental Kids Club

EPA Environmental Kids Club Cool ways for kids to learn about the environment.

USGS Water Science School

USGS Water Science School  Information on many aspects of Water, along with pictures, data, maps and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your water knowledge.

USGS The Water Cycle

USGS The Water Cycle The water cycle describes how Earth's water is not only always changing forms, between liquid (rain), solid (ice), and gas (vapor), but also moving on, above, and in the Earth. This process is always happening everywhere

Water Environment Federation Students and Teachers K-12

Water Environment Federation Students and Teachers K-12   This area features a variety of resources and programs to help students and teachers learn about water and the importance of protecting and preserving our water resources.

H2ouse Water Saver Home

H2ouse Water Saver Home – Take an interactive, room-by-room tour of a house to learn more ways to save water. You and your students will find many actions to take to prevent waste and save money.

Colorado State University Water Knowledge

Colorado State University Water Knowledge – This is a great site for a list of other water-related links.

Water for People

Water for People – This is a nonprofit, Denver-based organization that addresses worldwide water issues. Visit their website for photos and other interesting information.

Community member cleans debris from waterway. Learn more about Community Events

Community Events

South Platte Renew hosts several major community events annually, where community members are invited to visit our facility and learn about the water renewal process. We also partner with the Cities of Englewood and Littleton at their events to educate the community on the water renewal process.

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A large water basin. Learn more about Water Renewal Process

Water Renewal Process

At South Platte Renew we use a biological treatment process that harnesses the natural power of native bacteria to sustainably clean and renew water using the least amount of chemicals and energy.

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Water rushing over rocks in the river. Learn more about Updates and News

Updates and News

Get updates and information about South Platte Renew. Learn about the challenges affecting the water renewal process, how we are taking water knowledge into the community and the classroom and how you can be a steward of the South Platte River.

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