About Hydro Hands-On!

The Catawba Riverkeeper’s Hydro Hands-On! program engages kids with the Catawba-Wateree River through hands-on environmental education.  H2O! allows kids to explore how and why water is used in the Catawba River Basin in order to encourage environmental stewardship to further efforts in the preservation of the 225-mile-long Catawba-Wateree River and her lakes, streams, and creeks We facilitate learning through environmental education by bringing kids closer to the wild places and wild things that depend on the Catawba-Wateree River by putting this environment within reach. 

Our H2O! field trip lessons correlate with North Carolina Essential Standards (South Carolina Common Core coming soon!) and explore human interactions with the river (past and present), plants, animals, ecology that make this freshwater system so unique.  By incorporating a service learning component in every program (Power Clean), Hydro Hands-On! exhibits the positive impact humans can have on the Catawba River environments showcased in our lessons. 

H2O! Academic Year Field Trips

The following outdoor, environmental education lessons are offered Fall semester from September – October and Spring semester from March – May:

Beaver Tales – Students will investigate how and why beavers build dams and change the course of rivers, then compare how and why humans do the same to meet the needs of millions of residents in the Catawba river basin. 

Incredible Journey – Students will explore the water cycle and learn how the power of the sun energizes the entire process.  As an imaginary rain drop, students will get a front row seat to how water is used by plants, animals, people, and industries in the Catawba river basin. 

Food Web in the Catawba – Ever wondered if everything is connected?  We will explore the connections that aquatic (and some terrestrial) plants and animals have to each other and find out who eats what for lunch! 

Can I Drink It? –  Students will discuss water quality and the science behind how we get drinking water from the Catawba River and where it goes after we use it.  Student will begin this exploration by testing their own water samples from the Catawba River. 

Power Clean –  Students will get first-hand knowledge of a major pollutant that negatively affects the Catawba River; Trash.  During this service learning opportunity, students will learn about the Catawba River by interacting with it and working to clean it up.   By helping, student will be able to see, instantly, the positive impact they can each have on the health and well-being of river. 

Coming Fall 2020

People of the River – The Catawba River has been around longer than all of us and will be here long after we are gone.  We will learn from whom the river got its name as well as how the river has been used to grow the civilizations that have settled and developed its banks. 

Pastures & Parking Lots – Students will compare and contrast runoff from different pervious and impervious surfaces.  They will explore what can be done to improve the water quality of the Catawba River from runoff in areas like pastures and parking lots.  

H2O! Pop-Up Summer 2020

McPie summer student holds up a bright red leaf from a Virginia creeper vine!

Looking for some more nature content for your summer program?  Beginning summer 2020, the Catawba Riverkeeper will now offer two different styles of traveling environmental education to other K-12 facilities and centers around the basin.

Inside – We bring the Catawba River to you for a 1-hour, hands-on presentation 

Outside – A 2-hour hands-on experience on the river; varying locations

See our H2O! Pop-Up flyer for more information including pricing, dates, and how to book.

Interested in Booking?

Outdoor field trips not you thing?  Then request information on H2O! to-go: indoor field trip options that come to your classroom!

All program fees vary based on lesson option, length of program, number of students, and location. Scholarships are available upon request.

To learn more about H2O pricing, scholarships, and to schedule a program for your school or group, contact:

Haley Tedder, Program Director


704-679-9494 Ext. 104

Other Environmental Education Resources:

What to learn more about the Catawba River Basin?  Now?!  Check out the NC Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs River Basin Program!

Learn more about the the humans, history, plants and animals that have shaped the Catawba River Basin here: Catawba River StoryMap

Do I live in the Catawba River Basin?  Check our Basin Explorer map to find out!