Take the Forest to Faucet Challenge

You Are Part of the Water Cycle

Students learn how they are part of the water cycle on a field trip to the Cedar River Municipal Watershed (pre-COVID).

You know the saying, “What goes around, comes around?” While perhaps that phrase refers to karma, it really rings true with water! Perhaps the most commonplace thing we use every day, water has been coming and going for millennia, sustaining life on planet earth. Whether the water is trickling down the mountainous watershed or traveling through a pipe to the wastewater treatment plant, water is worth protecting. Water is life, after all.

Educators at the Cedar River Watershed have been helping students understand that they are part of earth’s amazing water cycle through a hands-on activity they call the “Forest to Faucet Challenge.”

Students usually begin arranging the cards in a line, left to right. Toward the end, they often realize that the “story of water” is a loop, continuing from clouds to forest to faucet to ocean, and back to the clouds again. These students took it a step further. 😊

In this activity, students work collaboratively to figure out the path water takes from the clouds to our faucets—and back again. While this activity was previously experienced during field trips to the Cedar River Watershed, the activity has now been adapted for use online, thanks to the technical expertise of Jennifer Smithwick, a member of SPU’s Training and Development team!

Although the game was designed for 4th and 5th graders, it turns out that grownups can have fun with it, too! Check it out, test your knowledge, and Take the Forest to Faucet Challenge!

The activity has been adapted for online use! Click the picture to play.
The first level is easiest, with clues and hints along the way. Level 3 is designed to test your knowledge. Good luck!