Delta Program Exploring Watershed Transformations

The Sustainable Watershed Program recently partnered with Penn State Art Education and Delta Program school of the State College Area School District for an interdisciplinary environmental education program called "Exploring Watershed Transformations."

Video: Delta Program Exploring Watershed Transformations


Community Partnership

The Delta Program is a public secondary school in the State College Area School District that has a strong focus on experiential learning and community engagement opportunities. The Sustainable Watersheds Program worked with AEC interns, graduate and undergraduate students from Penn State Art Education to host a collaborative in-class and field-based program for two classes of middle school Delta students.

In-Class Lesson on Watersheds and Field Illustration

Penn State Art Education graduate student, Sarah Thompson, and undergraduate student Greg Chaffee, visited a middle school class at Delta as part of their lesson on "Exploring Watershed Transformations." Greg and Sarah educated the students on ways to incorporate field illustration and data representation in their study of watersheds.

In-Class Sketches

Two AEC interns, Bill Wall, and Erin Hill, were invited as guest lecturers to a middle school class at Delta to supplement their lesson on "Exploring Watershed Transformations." The interns brought along a simulation activity for teaching watershed management through inquiry and decision-making. The activity is called 'Watershed Decisions' and was created by Watershed/Youth Development Educator, Jennifer Fetter. The Watershed Decisions activity provides an exercise in the decision-making process and in familiarizing the students with environmental factors involved with watershed management.

Delta Watershed Game

About the Field Trip

Stream-side Studies

To further enhance the lesson on Exploring Watershed Transformations, the class went on a field trip to a local stream restoration site. The tour of the site was led by Katie Olmbalski from ClearWater Conservancy. A landscape drawing was facilitated by Lillian Lewis, Ph.D Candidate in Art Education, and assisted by Art Education graduate students, Sarah Thompson and Hayon Park and Art Education undergraduate Greg Chaffee. A stream sampling and explanation of the First Investigation of Stream Health, or (FISH) Protocol, was then lead by Matt Royer, Director of the AEC, and intern Bill Wall. To finish, Lillian, Sarah, and Greg facilitated a specimen study drawing.

Specimen Study Sketches

Delta Kids on Bridge.

Bill Wall in Stream

Matt Royer and Delta

Stream-side Observational Art

Lillian Lewis, Ph.D Candidate in Art Education at Penn State, and her colleagues Sarah, Hayon, and Greg facilitated the field sketches that were introduced in-class. This allowed the Delta students to take their new knowledge out of the classroom and develop a keen sense of observation while perfecting their data recording techniques.

Delta kids drawing

Two Delta kids drawing

Delta Observational drawing

Landscape Study Sketches

The Showcase Event

The final phase of this program with Delta was to showcase the students' work at the Centre County Watershed Summit, hosted by the Sustainable Watersheds Program. Lillian managed the Delta Program table which had each of the students' drawings included in a look-book. Pictures from the field trip were displayed on a slideshow, and five Delta students were present to answer any questions folks had about their drawings.

Delta at Summit