Waters to the Sea®: Rivers of the Upper Mississippi - Water Quality, Ecology

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Waters to the Sea®: Rivers of the Upper Mississippi - Water Quality, Ecology, History

NOTE: This program, originally published in 1999, is being updated and revised and is not currently available. 

Part of the Waters to the Sea Series, Waters to the Sea: Rivers of the Upper Mississippi tells the story of how humans have lived along the upper reaches of America's greatest river. The CD ROM's interactive multimedia experience is divided into several introductory segments and three virtual river journeys. The introductory segments provide background information on ecology, watersheds and the water cycle, and water quality testing

The three river journeys that make up the heart of the program travel along three different waterways: the Headwaters section of the Mississippi, the Minnesota River, and Minnehaha Creek. Each journey passes through time as well as space, chronicling land-use history from pre-European settlement up to the present. Virtual river journeys, led by historic guides, take you from prehistoric times up to the present. Videos, QuickTime VR movies, and engaging multimedia activities examine a variety of land-use themes in each watershed. Visits to a virtual water quality lab correlate land uses with water quality.

Geared to grades 5-8, the visualizations, interactive elements and videos help teachers to convey concepts presented in the program.

The Teacher Study Guide provides background information, key concepts, vocabulary and related activities. 


Teacher Classroom Presentation: Fulton Elementary School

"It was my first time using a CD ROM on the large screen and my students and I loved it! We learned about water cycles, the geography of the river, we took a test and learned about insects that tolerate and do not tolerate pollution. We had text, music, video, history, biology, and sciences all wrapped up into one fabulous CD ROM!"  - Juliana James, 5th grade teacher

Science Fair Project: Murray Junior High School

"Waters to the Sea has directions for testing water along with supporting information. I was able to discover further about point and non-point source pollution and how it effects water. There is also history of water usage from the Native Americans to present industries. Along with traveling the upper Mississippi you meet Kelly Schmeidt, a young lady who previously won several science awards for her efforts in water testing. From her I was inspired to strive harder to continue with my project."  - Kristina, student

Week-long Water-Study Module: Crossroads Elementary School

"My favorite part was "Journey of a Raindrop" because it gives me an idea of how rivers are polluted and what we can do about it. ÉI would give this program six (out of five) stars!" - Guy, student

"I give the program five stars for how fun and cool it is for kids!" - Gene, student 

"My favorite part of the program is water testing. It's a challenge." - Alyssa, student