SPLASH Educational Experience
Educational Program- Overview
Hands-on, fun STEM learning experiences with the importance of the Delaware River as the central theme- are at the heart of the SPLASH mission. Class descriptions listed below are designed for grades 3 through middle school; classes with more advanced content appropriate to high school and college students, are also available. We hope your students have fun, lasting memories of their experience learning the science and history of the Delaware River, and as a result become more engaged citizens and stewards of the watershed in which they live.
SPLASH programs are suitable for a wide range of school groups: public and private schools; summer camps; home school groups; scouts, 4-H, and church groups. Typical group size is about 30 students; for smaller and larger group sizes – contact us to make arrangements.
At the start of our time together, we ask that your group divide into 3 subgroups, each with approximately 10 students. A class size of about 10
permits individual instructor attention – so important with microscopes and binoculars. The typical 1.5-hour SPLASH program is made up of 3 – 30 minute classes selected from the section below; the trip scheduler is happy to make class recommendations for your group!
“The inquiry approach that SPLASH uses so well is perfect and one of the main reasons I enjoy using SPLASH educators every year”.
-Scott Johnson, 5th Grade Teacher
Scheduling a SPLASH Experience
SPLASH programs are offered from May until September at the SPLASH site (D&R Canal State Park, 3 Station Court, Lambertville NJ 08530). For outdoor programs, we suggest selecting a rain date in addition to your trip date.
NEW: The SPLASH experience can come to you! Can't make it to our location in Lambertville? Our educational experience is now mobile. Some restrictions apply. Contact us for additional details.
Ready to Book Your SPLASH Experience? Fill out Our Reservation Forms to Get Started.
“The fact that each station was hands-on was fantastic. It keeps the kids excited & engaged, and I am a huge believer that such educational opportunities allow lessons to be absorbed much better. So you are really doing it right!”
-Suzie S., Home School Leader and Parent
Featuring the Enviroscape
Using the Enviroscape model, students can easily see how human activities in the neighborhoods where they live, impact a river which is the source of drinking water for seventeen million people. What are some of the ways we can better protect our Watershed?
How clean is the water in our watershed? Be a scientist and test it yourself for temperature, oxygen levels, pH balance and turbidity. Using the tools of a scientist, teams of students test the water from the river to determine if our Delaware River is healthy.
Combining this information with their observations of Macroinvertebrates and knowledge from the enviroscape, should give participants an understanding of the challenges and successes of the revitalization efforts of the Delaware River.
Phytoplankton: Jewels of the Delaware River
Phytoplankton are tiny plant-like organisms adrift in the waters of the Delaware river, and they are vital
to life in the river and on land. They’re too small to be seen with the unaided eye but can be seen using
a microscope. When in abundance they can change the appearance of the river to colors such as green
The many different species of phytoplankton take on many different beautiful forms. That’s why refer to
them as jewels. Our microscopes are fitted with cell phones to allow easy viewing of the samples. The
purpose of this lesson is to learn about the diversity of planktonic organisms in the Delaware River and
to recognize the significance of these organisms as part of the food chain.
Macroinvertebrates: The Health of Our River
Macroinvertebrates & the health of the Delaware River. What role do these small animals play in all rivers and streams? Why do scientists use macroinvertebrates as indicators for water quality Students learn to identify these important animals – such as crayfish, scud, pouch snails.
History of the Delaware & Raritan Canal
At SPLASH Location ONLY
In economic terms, the construction of the D&R canal in the 1830s is comparable to the moonshot of the 1960s. The canal’s purpose in our young nation was to transport coal and other goods to industrial areas. Today it is still important as a water supply system and a corridor for people as well as wildlife. Class begins with a program to discover for what purpose, and how, the canal was built. Students will see actual photos of the steamboats and mule boats that plied the canal at this very spot. Did you know there was once a submarine in this canal? Following the slide program, students take a guided walk along the canal towpath, and visit one of the remaining canal locks. The guided walk along the canal begins and ends near the steamboat.
Can you identify some of the commonly seen birds in our section of the Delaware River? The Delaware River is a minor flyway for migrating birds.
Learn about birds such as the Blue Heron, Cliff Swallows, and Cormorants, and how to properly use binoculars to enjoy them.