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King County along with partner organizations, IslandWood and Nature Vision, will be providing FREE virtual programs, tours, workshops and more. School focused programs integrate STEM lessons and are conducted live with individual classes.

We also offer video-taped versions of all lessons, curriculum, video tours of our treatment plants and more – check out our educational resources here.
programs for families
tours for schools
school programs

Wastewater Engineers Virtual Series** (aimed at grades 4-6)

Join King County and IslandWood for a 4-session series where students will learn how wastewater is cleaned, and how their daily choices have a direct impact on the water cycle.

Sessions are designed for students to use the engineering design process while they “visit” a wastewater treatment plant, carry out investigations, and learn how to become stewards of their water system.

  • Lesson 1 - What is wastewater and How are You Connected to It? (Live Synchronous) 
  • Lesson 2 - Wastewater Engineering Challenge Hands-on Lab (Live Synchronous)
  • Virtual Wastewater Treatment Plant Tour (Pre-Recorded)
  • Lesson 3 - Wastewater Stewardship - What You Can Do!  (Live Synchronous)

Click here to register or contact katelyn.leeuw@kingcounty.gov for program questions

When It Rains, It Pours Virtual Series** (aimed at grades 3-5)

This series will build students’ understanding of the interactions that stormwater has with the ecosystems and communities they inhabit. Synchronous sessions led by IslandWood educators are designed for students and families to engage in activities they can do at home. These programs for Seattle schools are paid for by additional support from Seattle Public Utilities.

  • Lesson 1 - What is stormwater and how does it impact humans? (Live Synchronous)
  • Lesson 2 - How does stormwater impact our ecosystems? (Live Synchronous)
  • Lesson 3 - How can we engineer solutions to stormwater problems? (Live Synchronous)

Click here to register or contact kaylanis@islandwood.org for program questions.

** In addition, both the wastewater and stormwater series include pre-lesson activities for students to complete on their own, as well as optional extensions to deepen understanding and to integrate additional subjects such as language arts and math. Teachers can sign-up for one or both of these series!

We also offering a pre-taped video lesson for K-2 Classrooms

How are we connected to the water cycle? Join us in learning more about water as we read a story, conduct a scientific experiment (with items you can find at home) and find out what we can do each day to help keep our water clean!

Humans and the Water Cycle (pre-taped 45 minute video lesson) - find video on Resources page.

Wastewater and Stormwater Connected!** (aimed at grades 6-8)

Students will learn all about wastewater and stormwater and how these two water systems are connected. They will explore how humans are an integral part of the water cycle - where our water comes from, how we use it, and where it ends up after we are finished. Guided by an educator, students will work together to brainstorm and share creative engineering solutions to combined sewer system problems while also conducting simple, hands-on experiments at home. 

  • Lesson 1 - Introduction to Water and Watersheds (Live synchronous)
  • Lesson 2 - What is Wastewater and How are You Connected to It? (Live synchronous)
  • Lesson 3 - What is Stormwater and How Does it Affect Humans and Ecosystems? (Live synchronous)
  • Lesson 4 - Engineering Solutions and How You Can Protect our Water Systems! (Live synchronous)

To register, go to Nature Vision’s registration page or contact info@naturevision.org for program questions.

** In addition, this series includes pre-lesson activities for students to complete on their own, as well as optional extensions to deepen understanding and integrate additional subjects such as language arts and math.

High School

Introduction to Wastewater

Have you ever wondered what happens to the water we use each day? Spoiler: It’s more complex than you would imagine, involving a lot of engineering and science.  In this lesson, we will reveal the hidden world of wastewater treatment through a mix of visuals and conversations. Classes this supports:  Environmental Science, Chemistry, Biology, Public Health, Engineering. Register here or contact kristin.covey@kingcounty.gov for program questions.

Introduction to Stormwater

This live lesson will explore the biggest source of pollution to the Puget Sound: stormwater. Students will gain a deeper understanding of how the stormwater system works, the chemistry and ecological impact of stormwater runoff, and what we can do to limit its impacts in our local water bodies. Classes this supports: Environmental Science, Chemistry, Biology. Register here or contact kristin.covey@kingcounty.gov for program questions.

Microfiber Pollution

Recent scientific studies have discovered one of the largest pollutants of our waterways comes from our clothing!  Millions of human-made plastic fibers are sent to wastewater treatment plants each time we do our laundry, and many of them end up in the Puget Sound.  Through interactive discussions and videos, this lesson will teach about the impacts of microfiber pollution and what we can do to help. Classes this supports: Environmental Science, Public Health. *Prerequisite includes Introduction to Wastewater Lesson. Register here or contact kristin.covey@kingcounty.gov for program questions.

Careers in Clean Water

Keeping waterways healthy within an urban environment is critical work, yet extremely challenging.  From engineers to educators to electricians, it takes many types of jobs and skills to make it happen.  This lesson will highlight the wide variety of careers available within wastewater treatment, including ones that are less obvious.  The goal is to open more career possibilities and help participants realize there’s a place for them in government and environmental work. Classes this supports: Many! *Prerequisite includes Introduction to Wastewater Lesson. Register here or contact kristin.covey@kingcounty.gov for program questions.

From Waste to Resources: Sustainability in Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater is generally thought of as something to dispose of, however, there are a growing number of surprising resources that we’re able to recover through the treatment process. This lesson will explore how those resources are extracted and utilized. Students will interpret data from regional climate change prediction models and make connections about how reusing resources from wastewater can help reduce climate change impacts. Classes this supports: Environmental science. *Prerequisite includes Introduction to Wastewater Lesson. Register here or contact kristin.covey@kingcounty.gov for program questions.

Video Tour of Wastewater Treatment Plant (Pre-recorded - 30 minutes)

Do you know where your poop goes?! Join us on a recorded tour of the South Treatment Plant to see how poop, trash, and other contaminants are removed from wastewater. We also explore how the process creates sustainable resources and visit Brightwater Treatment Plant to learn about its advanced technology. This video is recorded to fit your schedule, and is a great lesson to supplement the live lessons we offer!

College and University

Video Tour of Wastewater Treatment Plant (Pre-recorded - 60 minutes)

Join us on a recorded tour of the Brightwater Treatment Plant to see how contaminants are removed from wastewater. We also explore how the process creates sustainable resources and learn about the advanced technology used at Brightwater Treatment Plant. This video is recorded to fit your schedule, and is a prerequisite for the live guest speaker session. Video coming soon!

Live Guest Speaker

As a follow-up to the Video Tour, you can schedule a Brightwater Education Specialist to hold a live session with your students to dive deeper into water systems and the treatment process; to answer questions from the video tour; and to discuss relevant topics that your class is studying (wastewater resources/sustainability, pollution/microfibers, chemistry of wastewater, etc.). Register here or contact kristin.covey@kingcounty.gov for program questions.

We continue to offer many of our adult workshops, treatment plant tours and professional development trainings for educators in a virtual format. See our events page for a list of offerings.

group of adults at a treatment plant tour

group with binoculars on path in the woods

We continue to provide fun, engaging experiences for families in a virtual format. See our events page for family experiences, community tours, and programs.

crowd of people gathered around a person conducting an experiment 

two kids and an adult reading labels on household cleaning products