High school students may be familiar with the idea that they live in a watershed. They may even have engaged in individual community or school projects, such as stream clean ups or water testing, that benefit or relate to their watershed. Yet, in most cases, students have not explored how the watershed works or identified how the various parts—different land uses and types, different stakeholders—contribute to the whole. Understanding a watershed as a whole provides a real-world basis for systems thinking and deeper ecological understanding. It also offers a venue for students to identify and explore different levels and kinds of engagement in science, activism, and policy. This toolkit, intended to be used in conjunction with the video Water: The Source of Life, provides online resources for understanding watersheds, connecting to local watershed resources, engaging in watershed activities in the classroom, and identifying opportunities for watershed activism. It also includes a list of suggested projects that can make use of the resources.
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Keywords: Nature Conservancy, Nature Works Everywhere, conservation, ecology, ecological, water, water fund, Colombia, páramo, ecosystem, South America, watershed, system, Chingaza National Park, Bogota, water supply, water conservation, water management, natural resources, natural resource conservation, water security, sustainability, watershed system