Stream health assessment kits for schools
Greater Wellington Regional Council supports schools interested in learning about freshwater ecosystems. We have developed stream health assessment kits and guidance for schools and environmental educator’s to use with students.
The stream health assessment kits provide a simple and practical resource for teachers wanting to engage students in learning about the importance of water quality, ecological systems and scientific approaches. The kits are designed to be used in the field by teachers and students undertaking practical aspects of stream health assessment.
Learning about some of the factors affecting water quality is a great way for kids to get involved, to explore the concept of stream biodiversity and to share ideas on what we can do to protect streams.
A number of stream assessment kits are available for schools to borrow. These kits can be booked for use in the Wellington region by schools, or by environmental educators who work with schools. The kits contain everything needed to undertake basic stream health assessment. This includes:
This guide is a resource to support teachers in leading a stream assessment field trip with their students. It includes background information as well as practical guidance on planning a field trip, setting-up at a site and using equipment. It also includes worksheets, identification cards and links to other useful resources. Download the guide here.
The kit includes all the equipment and materials needed to undertake basic stream health assessment. Assessment involves investigating the water quality, physical features of a site and the plants and animals living in and alongside the stream.
A Stream Health Assessment Worksheet and identification cards for algae and critters (in both English and Te Reo) are also included in the kit. You can download and print more copies here:
To help plan your field trip, you might like a map of the area you will be visiting. A number of these are available to download from the list on the right.
To request the use of a stream assessment kit email your contact details, name, the location of your school and the dates you require the kit to email@example.com.
You will need to submit your request in advance to ensure that the kit is available when you want it. You can generally borrow the kit for two to three weeks, although this can be extended if there isn’t another booking.
There is no cost to borrow the kit but a lending agreement will need to be signed by the school. This is because the kits include specialist equipment and we need to make sure it is well looked after. See the lending agreement below for more information, including terms and conditions of the loan, the school’s responsibilities and what happens if equipment is damaged or lost.
GWRC Student Transport Grants are available to subsidise student transport by bus or train for schools using the Stream Health Assessment Kits. It can also be used for fieldtrips associated with the Whitebait Connection, Healthy Harbours Porirua and Experiencing Marine Reserves programmes.
The grant is offered on a sliding scale based on school decile. Decile 1-4 schools are eligible for funding to cover 90% of transport costs, decile 5-7 are eligible for funding to cover 70% and decile 8-10 are eligible for funding to cover 50%. Each school is eligible for funding of up to $500 per year.
Teacher training workshops
GWRC and some of our partners can provide training for teachers wanting to learn how to use the stream kits.
Training workshops involve visiting a stream location where you can learn how to assess stream health, including how to set up and use the equipment. These workshops take around 2 hours.
For information on training workshops near you and to register your interest, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
These are some online resources that provide information about stream health and assessment: