A person standing in a stream.

What’s in your stream?

Grades K-3

There’s a whole world flourishing underwater. Yes, even in the rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes wherever you live!

This student-paced course focuses on macroinvertebrates, or visible animals without backbones like insects and worms, collected at the Science Museum’s St. Croix Watershed Research Station by STEM education instructors.

In this course, students will observe and compare images and videos of a variety of live aquatic macroinvertebrates, share their observations, and answer guided questions about the macros that they find with their classmates. Learners can move a simulated microscope eyepiece in a scratch game to search for macroinvertebrates in a petri dish. Then, they’ll compare photos of macroinvertebrates to scientific illustrations to identify which species they’re seeing. The big takeaway? The presence of macroinvertebrates in a body of water gives clues to the quality of that water.

Thanks to the generous support of our donors and sponsors, this program is available at no cost to you.

Learning Goals

  1. Investigate and describe the visual and kinetic characteristics of macroinvertebrates. 

  2. Compare and identify different macroinvertebrate animals that live in freshwater.

  3. Discuss the importance of having clean water for macroinvertebrates to live in.

  4. Plants, animals, and people need clean water to live.

  5. Scientists make observations about water and how water changes.

MN Academic Standards

MN Academic Standards 2009:,,,,,,,,

MN Academic Standards 2019: 0E., 1E., 1E., 2E., 0L., 1L., 2L., 2P.

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: ESS2.C, ESS3.A, ESS3.C, LS1.A, LS2.C, LS4.D

NGSS Science and Engineering Practice: 3- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, 4- Analyzing and Interpreting Data, 7- Engaging in Argument from Evidence

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: 1- Patterns, 3- Scale, Proportion, & Quantity, 4- Systems & system models, 7- Stability & Change

Program Length

Student paced. 30-minutes.