In the Community

Water is one of our most precious - and endangered - natural resources. That’s why we offer environmental education programs to show people, especially children, how their actions determine ecological quality. Using engaging hands-on activities and experiments, we teach some science and have some fun.

Teaching people about water science is one of our most important jobs for the future; it is one way we work with consumers to prevent pollution of our region’s drinking water. By preventing contamination of our drinking water, we both protect public health and avoid the cost of cleaning up the environment.

Learning From Home Series

With schools throughout Connecticut closed, the RWA's Whitney Water Center is bringing the classroom to your home! Our water science educator is developing video lessons for elementary school children that guide young learners through science experiments to follow along with at home, take them on virtual field trips and more. Check back here and on our Facebook page regularly as we continue to create and post new videos.

Episode 1: Cohesion and Surface Tension

Episode 2: Surface Tension in Action

Episode 3: Floating a Paper Clip

Episode 6: What Will Absorb Water?

Episode 7: Absorption and Capillary Action

Episode 8: Chromatography

Episode 9: Estimating Volume

Special Episode: Peepers

Episode 10: Buoyancy

Episode 11: Water and Density

Episode 12: Chromatography Art

Episode 13: Evaporation

Episode 14: Displacement

Episode 15: Drops on a Penny

Episode 16: Diffusion

Episode 17: Clouds

Episode 18: Cloud in a Bottle

Episode 19: Sinking and Floating

Episode 20: Upside-down Container

Episode 21: A Leaky Faucet

We are working on more videos, so keep checking this space and watch our social media channels where we'll announce when the next one is available.

In the Classroom

We offer a wide variety of water science programs for school classes, scouts and other groups through the Whitney Water Center, an innovative environmental education center. Some programs are taught at the Water Center, located at 945 Whitney Avenue in Hamden, or you can invite the RWA into your classroom to present hands-on water science education programs. All programs are approximately one hour in length. Maximum class size is 30 students.

You can also borrow a Water Science Loan Box. These are self-contained teaching units. Each one of our Loan Boxes covers a unique topic and contains everything you need for learning about water in your classroom. Choose to do one activity as a supplement to your curriculum or do all of the activities and have a water-themed science week. Borrow a Loan Box and your students will learn science is fun!

Download the brochure.

Project W.A.T.E.R.

Project W.A.T.E.R. (Watershed, Aquatic, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research) is a program for sixth- through eighth-grade students. After learning about watersheds and water quality testing in the classroom, our educator will pick up your group at your school and transport your students on the Project W.A.T.E.R. bus to the Mill River watershed in Hamden. The group will make several stops along the river to check temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen and nitrate levels to assess the impact that human activities have on water quality. Afterwards, our educator will help your students interpret the data they collected.

Registering for a School Program or Project W.A.T.E.R

Programs and Loan Boxes are FREE of charge for students from Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Branford, Cheshire, Derby, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Killingworth, Madison, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Prospect, Regional District #16, Regional District #17, Seymour, West Haven and Woodbridge. Groups from other areas are welcome on a space-available, fee basis.

For more information on our education programs or to register for a school program or Project W.A.T.E.R., call the Whitney Water Center at 203-777-1142 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The following information is needed when you call:

  • Teacher name
  • Contact name (if not the teacher)
  • School name
  • Complete school address and phone number
  • Date and time of program (please have an alternate)
  • Grade level
  • Number of students
  • Title of program
  • Any special needs of your students/chaperones

All programs are approximately one hour in length. Many classes cover a wide range of ages. Our staff will present an age-appropriate version of the program for your students. Maximum class size is 30 students.

To reserve a Loan Box, download the reservation form, fill it out and fax it to the Whitney Water Center at 203-603-4952. You may also call the Water Center at 203-777-1142. Loan Boxes are available free of charge to schools and groups in the RWA’s district. The loan period is 10 school days, and the box will be delivered to and picked up from your school.