Register for Educational Student Workshops

As of 3.9.2017, all classes are full at this time. Please check back for cancellations/openings in your area!

All students will be required to fill out a waiver before participating in a workshop. For a printable copy, click here.

2017 Workshop Descriptions

Hampton, IL – April 3, 2017- April 7, 2017

This workshop is land-based, with no barges and boats involved, but will be a fun learning experience you and your students will never forget! Buses will meet the LL&W crew at the north end parking lot of Illiniwek Forest Preserve. We will then meet Park Superintendent Mike Peterson and learn about the history of Illiniwek and the numerous ecological restoration activities taking place. Mike will take us on a prairie tour and tell us about the importance of native flora and fauna. The LL&W Education team will then provide a hands-on lesson on invasive species in an ecosystem that will be sure to get students up and moving! A pizza lunch will be provided, as well as water. Following lunch, students will remove the non-native invasive plant, garlic mustard (Alliaria officinalis) from the hiking trails. We will be hiking up to two miles.  Gloves and garbage bags will be provided. These workshops can host a maximum of 30 students.

-We will be hiking up to two miles.

Click here for Activity Lesson Plans!

Alton, IL  – April 11, 2017-May 5, 2017

Our fleet will be parked in Alton, IL for a one-of-a-kind education experience on our floating classroom!  Click here to view our list of activities on the barge! Click here and check out “Frequently Asked Questions” list for more details!

St. Louis, IL- May 11, 2017-May 19, 2017

Our fleet will be parked in St.Louis, MO for a one-of-a-kind education experience on our floating classroom!  Click here to view our list of activities on the barge! Click here and check out “Frequently Asked Questions” list for more details!

Click here for Activity Lesson Plans!

Full Name

School Email

Home Email (to contact about workshops during summer)

School Phone

Home or Cell Phone

School Location

Name of School





What courses do you teach?

How did you hear about workshop?

Workshop location varies per event. Locations starred below will NOT be held on the LL&W Barge. Please select a date/location.

How many students will be attending the workshop?

Grade of Students

Class description (i.e. biology section 5, environmental science 2, members of school environmental group)

Will you need reimbursement for the cost of your substitute teacher and/or bus travel?

Will students be able to bring their own lunch to workshop?

Please choose two activities from the following list for your students to complete during the workshop.

Biological Magnification
Students learn the effect that water pollution has on all levels of the food chain, especially the top, when live predatory birds visit the floating classroom (depending on site location). After learning about the general behavior of these raptors and the important role they play in the ecosystem, students will Biological Magnification participate in a food web simulation. Each student assumes the role of a specific producer or consumer found in the Mississippi watershed, obtaining energy through photosynthesis or by feeding on other organisms. But energy isn’t the only thing passing up the food chain… so are persistent, fat-soluble pollutants, like heavy metals, DDT, and PCBs! The simulation illustrates the concepts of bioaccumulation in tissues over the life of an animal and the biological magnification of these pollutants higher in the food chain. Recommended for biology and environmental science classes.

Eyes on Invasives
Students learn about the negative impact that invasive species have on native plants and animals by completing a hands-on simulation that demonstrates the advantage invasive species have in the ecosystem. Then students take a boat ride on the river and use guide books to identify both native and nonnative plant species along the riverbank and discuss the impact of invasives on their local watershed. Recommended for biology and environmental science classes.

Macroinvertebrate Identification
Students learn the importance of macroinvertebrates as biological indicators of stream health. Students will practice their identification skills by matching picture cards with verbal descriptions using a dichotomous key. Then students observe preserved macroinvertebrate specimens under magnification to determine the water quality index of the stream from which the sample was taken. Recommended for biology and environmental science classes.

Mississippi River Watershed
Students interact directly with Enviroscape ® models to understand the effect of land activities in the watershed on the water quality of nearby streams, rivers, and lakes. Through this activity, students learn the role of riparian buffer zones in decreasing nonpoint source pollution of waterways near agricultural lands and the role of wetlands in filtering out toxic substances. Then students map the Mississippi Watershed, the third largest watershed in the world, labeling all 31 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and numerous tributaries that feed into the main river system. Recommended for earth science and environmental science classes..

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Students pass around bags of consumer goods and lead discussions on packaging efficiency, materials (plastic vs. paper), and reusability options. Educators share garbage statistics and videos that show the effects of garbage that reaches the ocean and the effect it has on marine life. Students even get to hold samples of water collected from the garbage patch in the Atlantic Ocean, which includes tiny pieces of broken-down plastic collected by scientists for laboratory tests, 80% of which comes from land-based sources. Recommended for earth science, biology, and environmental science classes.

River Cleanup Get the full experience with the Living Lands & Water’s crew and participate in a river cleanup! After lunch, students will board our jon boats, put on their “garbage vision” and we will take to the water! It is very important that students comes dressed for success for this excursion with long pants and closed toed shoes. Sunscreen, bug spray, gloves and bags are available for you and your team. This activity is sure to be impactful and memorable for you and your students.

Sustainable Resource Use
Students role play as captains of commercial fishing boats and compete with their classmates for a share of the "catch." Students see firsthand the effects of overharvesting a renewable resource as their fishery dwindles with each fishing season. This thought-provoking, hands-on exercise teaches the importance of using natural resources sustainably. Recommended for earth science, biology, and environmental science classes.

Water Quality Testing
Students get their hands wet as they collect water samples from the river and test them for a number of water quality parameters (dissolved oxygen, temperature, turbidity, nitrates, phosphates, pH, and alkalinity), using LaMotte Water Quality test kits. We conclude with an analysis and discussion to see if student results fall within the healthy range for freshwater ecosystems. Recommended for earth science, biology, and environmental science classes.

First Choice Activity

Second Choice Activity