Earth Day Field Trip

Andrew Doan and Joseph Bauelos ok to use

Thank you to those who participated in the 25th Annual Earth Day Festival! 

  • This FREE STEM and environmental literacy educational opportunity is available to fifth-grade classes in our service area.
  • Please check back to register for 2018. 
  • Sign-up for our newsletter to be notified when registration opens. 


Earth Day Activity Descriptions

All stations will actively involve students in “hands-on” projects. Students will use a variety of NGSS science practices including: using observations, asking questions, developing hypotheses, collecting and analyzing data, communicating their findings. In some stations, students will also use engineering practices to design and test models. Instructors are  experienced classroom teachers or professionals with environmental education expertise to encourage environmental literacy. Teachers will be provided with curriculum handbook at the Pre-Event Teacher Workshop that includes all stations, as well as pre- and post lessons.

Each class will register for ONE STRAND. Each strand consists of two 50-minute stations, described below. We encourage schools to vary the strands chosen by classes and to ask students share their experiences with their peers.

Strand Number

Station A

Station B

Strand 1 Drought Tolerant Plants 101 Blue River
Strand 2 Drought Tolerant Plants 101 River Action
Strand 3 Composting: Worm Power! Storm Water
Strand 4 Composting: Worm Power! Air Quality Extraordinaire
Strand 5 Wyland Foundation Watershed Mural Water Wise Garden Investigations
Strand 6 Water Planet Magic Show Capture that Rain!
Strand 7 Water Planet Magic Show Common Water
Strand 8 Seeing Water from Space with NASA Scientists Water, Water, Underground

Station Descriptions

Seeing Water from Space


This station will feature scientists and educators from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. How much water is there on planet earth? Where is that water distributed? How did water shape our planet’s landscapes? And what about on Mars? Students will seek answers to these questions by building models that replicate   satellite images of Earth and Mars, while gaining a better understanding of how satellites work and their significance in  understanding the global water cycle.

Capture that Rain!

: When it rains, it pours, creating storm water runoff and water quality problems in our region. Students will assist the City of Ontario's Water Resources Coordinator in developing rainwater harvesting designs to reduce runoff. Working as environmental engineers, they will design and test a system to capture rain to irrigate a garden. In small teams, they will be given a set of materials, guidelines, and a time limit to construct a model. Each group will test their design to see which best maximizes rain capture. They will then explore examples of rain harvesting designs on our campus.

Wyland Foundation Watershed Mural

A healthy watershed requires a thriving ecosystem. Students will turn their scientific observations of local plants, animals, soils, and water cycle components of our local ecosystem into art. Working with a Wyland Foundation muralist and her team, each student will design and paint a component of the Chino Basin ecosystem on two prepainted 5’x10’ canvas murals that include a view of Mt. Baldy from our campus with a cutaway of our groundwater basin. There will be an opportunity for two classes to take the murals back to their school! 

River Action


Environmental engineers play a large role in California’s water infrastructure. Students become engineers in this station, building river models, charting river courses, and constructing a dam on the river. The focus is on scientific concepts, such as erosion and local environmental concerns. The station concludes with a demonstration of the environmental impact of toxic waste dumps.

Common Water


Water is a limited resource with unlimited demands upon it. Students step into the shoes of water users, past and present, to show how the demands of multiple users can affect water quality and quantity over time. Students will journey through different eras, simulating the smaller water demands of the past and arriving at today’s complex water supply system. This station brings in science and social studies to help students understand how they fit into larger contexts, so they can learn to better share and manage this finite resource.

Water, Water Underground


Students will explore the concept of groundwater: What it is, where it comes from, why it is important to us, and what happens when it becomes polluted. Students will construct a model of the earth in an aquarium. By experimenting with the flow of water, students will observe how water accumulates below the earth’s surface and becomes groundwater. A pollution source will then be introduced so that students can visualize how groundwater can become polluted.

Composting: Worm Power!


Students will learn about the benefits of composting and will help construct a worm bin so they can observe the power of worms up close.  Worms play a major role in decomposing plant material and creating     fertile soil. Worms  consume millions of leaves and deposit droppings or “castings” that fertilize the soil. Their tunneling contributes to the aeration and turning over of the soil, allowing water to reach plant roots more easily. The average American family throws away 500 pounds of food scraps (i.e. green waste) per year. Composting can help us all! Each class will work together to build a worm bin to take back to class.

Water Planet Magic Show by Paul Cash,  Magician

The Paul Cash Environmental Magic Show was developed in partnership with the Network for Environmental Science Teaching. Watch Wanda, the rapping water drop, come to life to sing the Water Cycle Boogie! Students learn about environmental behaviors that protect water quality and about personal water conservation.

Drought Tolerant Plants 101

The hands-on experience of planting drought tolerant plants is the highlight of this  informative station. Students will first receive an overview of California native plants, then will learn how to tell the  difference between drought tolerant plants and “water thirsty” plants. They then compare models of different irrigation  systems and learn how each is selected for different plant types. Finally, students will become water wise gardeners by  planting a drought tolerant plant to take home and enjoy!

Storm Water

How does storm water move through an environment? Students will compare pervious materials with impervious materials to show the path of water through an urban setting. The discussion will also cover best management practices of how to retain water instead of letting it run off during a storm. This station ties in a demonstration of CBWCD’s  very own low impact development strategies with permeable pavements, bioswales, and water catchment areas.

Water Wise Garden Investigation

The 1.75 acre demonstration garden models various environments through the use of selected drought tolerant plants and a water management system. Students will take a fun and interactive guided  tour of the garden. On the way they will participate in learning stations that focus on aspects of the ecosystem such as native and adapted plants, differences between soils and what that means for plants, and compost—nature’s form of recycling.

Blue River

Students become components of a watershed to simulate the movement of water through a river and its  surrounding area. They will learn what makes up a watershed and how its drainage affects more than just the immediate  vicinity, using our own geography as an example. Students will talk about why watershed health is so important and how they can help manage our watershed. This station also ties in weather to understand seasonal differences of water flowing through an area.


Quality Extraordinaire

: Water use and energy use are inherently linked. Working with regional green building architects, students will investigate air quality issues in our watershed and learn more about how they can take action to reduce our water and energy use to improve air quality. Through science and engineering practices, students will investigate smog in a jar and will track their own emissions.

You can visit our Field Trip Resources page for additional lesson plans and materials to prepare for Earth Day.