San Diego Coastkeeper understands the importance of learning about the environment and respecting it from a young age. That's why we partner with the City of San Diego and the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) for Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership): A curriculum for kindergarten through second grades and fourth through sixth grades. San Diego educators use Project SWELL as a teaching tool to incorporate environmental and scientific studies into inquiry-based and hands-on water science and pollution prevention lessons.
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Project SWELL, as the focal point in Coastkeeper's education programs, promotes water knowledge among future decision makers in San Diego County. Through hands-on lessons about real San Diego issues, teachers help students understand their local ecosystems and improve the health of our ocean and waters. Everybody has a right to clean water, and everybody should know how to keep it clean.
With Project SWELL students learn by asking questions and defining problems, developing and using models, carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data and designing solutions.
We distribute Project SWELL science kits and curricula alongside the Full Option Science System (FOSS) science kits used by San Diego Unified School District. Since 2003, teachers in 130 elementary schools in San Diego Unified and 17 schools in Oceanside Unified school districts have had access to Project SWELL kits.
The curricula includes:
- Kindergarten Life Sciences: Clean Water in San Diego.
- First Grade Life and Earth Science: Water Everywhere.
- Second Grade Earth Science: Water and Earth Materials in San Diego.
- Fourth Grade Investigation: Water and San Diego Ecosystems.
- Fifth Grade Earth Science: Water in San Diego.
- Sixth Grade Earth Science: Watersheds in San Diego.
After completion of Project SWELL lessons, students will find the answer to questions like:
- Why do animals live in different habitats?
- Which soil is better for different plants to grow?
- Where does water come from?
- How does water travel from a neighborhood to the ocean?
- How do we can keep water clean?
- How does everyone's actions affect the environment in a positive or a negative way?
This program lives at the heart of San Diego Coastkeeper’s environmental education game plan because Project SWELL teaches students about issues in their local ecosystems and engages them in improving the health of our ocean and waterways. We like to keep it local.
To augment classroom lessons, Coastkeeper also engages children directly with hands-on programs at education events in the community.
Visit the official Project SWELL website to learn more about the environmental science curricula, its partners and how it's based on the California Science Contents Standards to meet the learning objectives set by the California Department of Education.
- Water is your body's principal chemical component and is about 60 percent of your body weight. You need it to survive.
- Planet Earth, or should we say Planet Ocean since 96.5 percent of Earth's water is in the ocean, has only 2.5 percent freshwater. And, only 0.02 percent of Earth's water is available fresh water for drinking.
- Water conservation is important because it is a precious and scarce resource, all living things depend on it to survive.
Project SWELL provides free professional development trainings for teachers twice a year at San Diego Unified School District for kindergarten through second grades and fourth through sixth grades and at Oceanside Unified School District for fifth and sixth grades. The trainings empower teachers with tools to provide real-life investigation lessons to their students. The teachers learn how to teach each lesson and how to use Project SWELL science kits so that students build a foundation for taking care of their environment by providing real solutions to real pollution problems.
Visit the official Project SWELL website to learn more about the environmental science curricula, its partners and how it is based on the California Science Content Standards to meet the learning objectives set by the California Department of Education.
We love to get hands-on!