This page includes fun educational videos from our partners to watch on your own schedule. Looking for a recording of an online class? Click here. Click here to go back to the main 2020 virtual water festival page.

Videos included on this page:

Watershed exploration

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, University of MinnesotaHolle Despen, Naturalist and Caitlin Potter, Education Coordinator

Why is water so important? How does water move through the land? How does water impact the land, and vice versa? Using thought questions and physical models, we will begin with the big picture – the water cycle and watersheds – and then focus in on rivers and streams, considering how water movement changes the land and impacts people as it flows. We’ll also briefly discuss how man-made pollution fits into the landscape-level picture of a watershed. Implementation plan and basic worksheet accompany this 15 min video.

Materials and video:

Exploring macroinvertebrates and water quality

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, University of MinnesotaMegan Lauzon, Naturalist and Caitlin Potter, Education Coordinator

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, clean water is a central part of the culture of Minnesota! What IS clean water though? Scientists can measure all sorts of things about water that help them figure out whether an aquatic system is healthy or not. One thing they measure is macroinvertebrates (the small critters that live in the water) and plant debris can actually tell us a lot about the health of a system! In this series of videos, Cedar Creek naturalist Megan will walk viewers through the entire process of macroinvertebrate sampling, from selecting a collection location and scooping for macros to sorting and identifying what you find using a dichotomous key. Four different implementation plans with associated student worksheets are provided so that teachers can focus their exploration on one of several grade-level standards. If classrooms are not able to collect macros on their own, teachers are encouraged to do a basic collection and then allow students to sort and identify either in-person or over video in a virtual classroom.

Click here to be brought to a Google Drive with teacher or parent/guardian instructions, worksheets, and identification resources. The videos are also available in the Google Drive, but it is recommended to watch them here instead. (Video lengths range from 4 to 8 minutes).

Rainfall simulator

USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service – John Crellin, Rodney Aaron, Jason Roth, and Steven Cole

Land/ground cover and soil have a significant effect on rainwater run off – how much, if any, soil erosion, and how much rainwater infiltrates (soaks) into groundwater. Sediment is the number one source of water quality contamination nation-wide. Using a rainfall simulator to mimic a rainfall event, we will demonstrate how changes in land/soil cover effect soil erosion, sediment in stormwater runoff, and groundwater recharge.

Watch the video here! (Length: 26:33)

How do fish get mercury?

Minnesota Pollution Control AgencyBruce Monson, Carol Hubbard and Michael Xiong

Learn the sources of mercury, how it gets into our lakes and rivers. You’ll understand how fish get mercury. Then, see a list of products that use mercury (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency).


Stormwater floodplain model

MN Association of Floodplain Managers – Mary Presnail, Joe Waln, Mike Welvaert, Kelsey Forward, and Matt Bauman

See the critical role of floodplains, retention ponds and wetlands in flood management – and the impact that unplanned development and human activity has on stormwater runoff and flooding.


When I grow up, I want to be…

Have you ever wondered what you want to be when you grow up? Meet some amazing professionals who share their exciting career experiences and the paths they took to find their dream jobs! What is a hydrologist? Did you know that you can work in technology at the Department of Natural Resources? Discover some fun opportunities and perhaps an exciting future as a scientist, water specialist or someone who plays with computers, frogs and fish-OH MY! Start a conversation with the natural resource specialists by emailing your questions.

Do you love to be outside? So does Cha Thao, a dedicated Environmental Resource Specialist at Ramsey County Soil & Water Conservation, who loves his job. Find out what his job is about and how he got there. Watch the video here (Length: 5:52).

From college football player to protector of our water! Terrence Chastan-Davis introduces viewers to his job at the Rice Creek Watershed District and takes everyone with him into the field as he inspects active construction sites, wetlands, and stormwater ponds. Watch the video here (Length: 14:04).

Meet Bethany Ketchem, who works for the United States Forest Service. The Forest Service takes care of our nation’s trees and forests. Bethany’s job is a hydrologist- which means she thinks about water and how the work the Forest Service does may affect water. This video highlights why having big trees and logs in a stream is important to insects and fish and why we need to think carefully about how water flows under a road through a pipe called a culvert. Bethany loves being outside and working in a team to protect the water and all the things that live in the water. Watch the video here (Length: 7:25).

  • Liz Samuel, IT Service Specialist; MNIT, MN Department of Natural Resources

Coming soon!