Water Investigation

Water Investigation

Water Investigation (Activities)   Free Add to cart

Because water is essential to life’s processes, maintaining adequate freshwater supplies and delivery systems will continue to be an important issue for generations to come. As the Earth’s population continues to grow, ever-increasing demands will be placed on our water resources.

Project Learning Tree’s Water Investigation is one of five hands-on, student-driven investigations at the heart of PLT's GreenSchools program where students investigate the source, cost, and quality of their school's water supply, and ways to enhance current water conservation practices. The Investigation details specific things for students to measure and observe, along with student worksheets to fill out and guidance on how to combine data collected into a school-wide analysis.

PLT's GreenSchools program inspires students to improve the environment at their school, at home, and in their community. Student-led Green Teams apply STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to create greener and healthier schools—and save schools money!

In the Water Investigation, students document and evaluate water use in their school and on school grounds and collect data on water conservation practices. Using the data collected from the Investigation, students can develop action projects to implement in their community to improve water conservation.

Examples of Students’ Action Plans: Students work with school administrators to fix water leaks and install automatic water-efficient faucets. They install rain barrels and create rain gardens. They control stormwater runoff from parking lots. They educate the community about their local watershed and restore riparian areas to improve water quality.

Visit Project Learning Tree’s website to read stories of students’ action projects. Hear from students about their green school’s journey, and from teachers about lessons they learned along the way, as well as their tips for others interested in implementing similar projects.

Get all five GreenSchools Investigations here which includes:

  • Adult Leader Guide – Information on the benefits of becoming a green school, who to involve, how to form a Green Team, the steps to take to support students in conducting the Investigations, STEM connections and suggestions for additional activities to enhance each Investigation topic. 
  • Energy Investigation - Students investigate how much energy their school uses, the main sources of that energy, and ways to implement energy-saving strategies.
  • Environmental Quality Investigation - Students investigate areas where improvements can be made in indoor air quality, transportation, chemical use, and more.
  • School Site Investigation - Students investigate natural habitats, wildlife, trees, grounds maintenance practices, and ways to make improvements to their school site.
  • Waste & Recycling Investigation - Students investigate how much waste their school generates and where it goes, as well as recycling and composting efforts.
  • Water Investigation - Students investigate the source, cost, and quality of their school's water supply, and ways to enhance current water conservation practices.


“The biggest asset to [our rain barrel] project was adding the extra curriculum from PLT resources. We didn’t just go in and build a rain barrel with students. They did investigations and learned about water conservation along the way.”

– Mandy Kern, Program Specialist, Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Great Bend, KS

“I was amazed how the students got into these Investigations. Each day they came to class eager to find out what they needed to do next. I am so glad that we participate in the Greenschools Program.”

– Katie Schlotterbeck, Science Teacher, St. Michael Lutheran School, Fort Myers, FL

“PLT’s GreenSchools program has made a remarkable difference in our impact on our environment and learning about how we can become better citizens through our stewardship of natural resources.”

– Zayra Sota, 8th Grade Student, Scuola Vita Nuova Charter School, Kansas City, MO