While we are unable to meet face-to-face due to the pandemic, our education staff are committed to supporting teachers, students, and families during the pandemic. We have been updating our lessons resources regularly for synchronous, asynchronous, and in-person formats, and have created a created a list of educational resources for teachers, students, and parents.
The Portland Water District offers educational opportunities to schools, camps, and other groups within the Sebago Lake Watershed and PWD service area, serving elementary through postsecondary students. See eligibility map to the left.
Each year, regularly scheduled lessons are provided to approximately 1000 middle school students through our WaterWays Program.
Environmental educators deliver weekly lessons to middle school students over four consecutive weeks when teachers are covering a related unit. Participating teachers select from eight lessons, all of which are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Supplemental lessons and other activities are provided to teachers as well. The overarching goal of this free program is to teach students about the ways we use, share, pollute, and protect water. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Education Coordinator for more information.
Students learn about Maine’s native brook trout, water quality, and stewardship through the TroutKids Program. During the winter, students raise trout in their classroom and release them into local water bodies each spring. PWD coordinates trout release field trips for a set number of classes, while other teachers conduct their trout releases independently.
TroutKids provides hands-on science and stewardship opportunities while fostering knowledge about and a connection with Maine’s valuable natural resources. Our education staff have developed a comprehensive TroutKids Guide for interested teachers. Learn more by clicking the link above!
Other School Year Programming
We coordinate short-term lessons, field trips, and presentations for schools, groups, and organizations. We work with elementary through college audiences in classrooms, outdoors, or other venues. Participants are provided with hands-on activities related to various topics, including the water cycle, water pollution, stewardship, watersheds, water quality monitoring, and more. Requests must be received a minimum of six weeks in advance and availability is limited; please contact the Education Coordinator to learn more.
Tours are provided by operators and scientists at PWD’s drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities. Click on the link above to learn about the facilities, eligibility criteria, and to request a tour.
PWD has been a longstanding member of the Southern Maine Children’s Water Festival Planning Committee. This free, full day Festival is held each May at the University of Southern Maine’s Portland Campus. Environmentally-affiliated organizations provide classroom and exhibit hall activities, a stage show and water trivia competitions.
The Festival is for fifth and sixth grade students and teachers conducting water-related classroom activities prior to the Festival who are from the following counties:
Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, Lincoln, Oxford, Sagadahoc and York.
The Southern and Northern Maine Festival planning committees are hosting a virtual, statewide Maine Children’s Water Festival from May 17-21, 2021. The application deadline has passed.