LabVenture! in the Classroom

What environmental issues affect the place where you live? Students take the skills and concepts learned during their LabVenture! experience and apply them in observing, asking questions, investigating, taking action, and deepening their scientific understanding and connection to their local watersheds. Schoolyards become laboratories and community members become learning partners. Students gain independence as learners, critical thinkers, and problem-solvers as they participate in relevant, issue-based Watershed Experiences.

GMRI's Watershed Experiences begin with a current environmental issue and research question of direct meaning and importance to students and local communities. A series of essential questions helps teachers guide students through standards-aligned introductory activities, classroom-based research, inquiry-based field investigations, and a student-led action. These interdisciplinary curricula include activities that work well on their own, but as a whole allow students to construct a more sophisticated understanding of systems, hone investigation skills and scientific habits of mind, and apply and extend their learning into their local communities.

All My Watershed Neighbors


What species live in my neighborhood? Students investigate the species that live within their local watershed habitats and the resources that those species (and they) need.

Natural Resources and ME


What questions are scientists asking about natural resources in Maine? Students explore and investigate issues facing natural resources within their watershed.

My Own Backyard

What is my personal connection to the natural environment? Students use scientific practices to explore and document their schoolyard as they develop personal connections to their place.

Non-Point Source Pollution in my Schoolyard


Is NPS (non-point source) pollution a problem in my schoolyard? Students examine their schoolyard as a part of the larger watershed and investigate possible sources of NPS pollution.


 Watershed Experiences that integrate GMRI’s Vital Signs Program

Ecosystem Health: Checking the Vital Signs of a Maine Watershed


Is my local ecosystem healthy? Students use a variety of indicators to investigate and assess the health of a local ecosystem.

Invasive Species Impacts on Biodiversity in a Maine Watershed


How diverse is my local ecosystem? Students compare local biodiversity counts to those in other areas of their watershed.


Watershed Experiences developed by Maine Sea Grant 

Climate Change and Your Watershed


How is climate change affecting your watershed? Students investigate evidence of global climate change in Maine watersheds and work with their schools and communities to respond and adapt.

Community Connections to a Maine Watershed


How has my watershed shaped my community? How has my community shaped my watershed? To find out, students investigate local connections to watershed resources.



Watershed Experience curriculum was co-developed by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Maine Sea Grant, and 31 Maine middle-level teachers. It is funded through the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-Wet) Program. These curricula are licensed with the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC-BY) with the intent that they be used, remixed, and shared by educators.