Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientists and Environmental Stewards
Supported by the Park Foundation
What is the 4-H2O Education Program?
Through our 4-H2O program, CSI aims to foster and support the next generation of scientists and environmental stewards through hands-on water science and engaging activities that allow children to “dip their toes” into the world of water.
The 4-H2O program started as a collaborative relationship with the Tompkins County 4-H youth education organization in 2006. In 2016, 4-H2O transitioned from a club format to a project based format allowingall children to participate regardless of their affiliation with 4-H. Each 4-H2O activity is presented in a way that makes scientific topics approachable and engaging for children and adults with any level of experience or interest.
What age group can participate?
The target age for programming is 6-14 and kids from elementary through high school are welcome to participate. Youth under 7 must be accompanied by an adult.
Looking for Water Science Education Tools and Materials?
CSI is working to develop educational tools and materials that guide children and families through self-led explorations of their favorite streams and lakes. These tools act as an educational resource for those looking to “get there feet wet” in the world of water science and water quality monitoring. Recently, we have published a Water Quality Report Card that introcudes kids and families to some of the most common, easily-seen life forms in streams and provides a clear, step-by-step process for looking for these organisms to evaluate water quality. For more information, visit our Young Scientists page on our website.
Looking for fun and educational activities this summer? Check out our upcoming programs!
Biomonitoring Event at Lower Buttermilk Falls State Park
Date: September 26 Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Reservations are required by September 25 and space is limited to 10 participants. More information and directions will be provided upon signing up.
Who lives under the rocks in streams and what can these organisms tell us about water quality? Join the Community Science Institute (CSI) for an evening on the banks of Buttermilk Creek at Buttermilk Falls State Park as we explore the life in the creek and collect a sample of organisms that will be used to evaluate water quality and ecosystem health. This event is meant for the whole family and is interactive. Participants can help us wade through the creek to find organisms under rocks for everyone to look at under magnification – we’ll project the images so that they can be seen by everyone at a distance! Those who are interested in following the scientific protocols for collecting an official sample (that will be analyzed and the results of which will be included in CSI’s long-term datasets of water quality) can help collect the sample and complete a physical survey.
COVID-19 Safety Precautions: We are limiting the number of participants in this program to 10 and those participating must practice social distancing. Face masks are required. If you are interested in participating, you will need to reserve a spot for each family member in advance.
Water Quality Cruise on Cayuga Lake
Date: October 4, 2020 Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Reservations are required and space is limited to 20 participants. Cruises will depart from the Allen H. Treman Marina at 800 Taughannock Blvd. Ithaca, NY. Please arrive 15 minutes before the departure time for check in.
Sail Ho! Join the Community Science Institute on an exploration of Cayuga Lake aboard the Floating Classroom. For the 15th year running, CSI’s 4-H2O Program will be partnering with Discover Cayuga Lake’s Floating Classroom to collect and analyze water samples from Cayuga Lake. Participants will learn how to collect water samples using a Van Dorn sampler and will analyze them while aboard the Floating Classroom’s boat, the MV Teal. Data collected by participants will be included in CSI’s online water quality database.
This is a great opportunity for all ages to participate in local water quality science! Space is limited to 20 participants, so sign up while there is still time!
COVID-19 Safety Precautions: We are limiting the number of participants in this program to 20. At this capacity, social distancing can and will be followed on the boat. Face masks are required. All surfaces will be routinely disinfected. If you are interested in participating, you will need to reserve a spot for each family member in advance.