TEA Super Crew 3rd-Graders Fight for Lake Tahoe Water Quality

This 3rd-Grade Water Expedition 2019 Video was produced by our high school film program students!

Water Clarity and the Sierra Nevada Watershed

Words by the 2020 Yearbook TEAm

What are the threats to the local freshwater resources and how can we protect these resources? Throughout the 2019-2020 school year, the third grade “Super Crew” at TEA studied climate change, water quality, and how this can affect our community. To be able to develop a new perspective and opinion on such a controversial topic is important, especially if the perspective is coming from these young kids.

The students began their expedition by building background knowledge in the classroom. They obtained information gathered from scientific reports about threats against Lake Tahoe and articles about freshwater resources. “Lake Tahoe is like a bathtub!” Super Crew member Oliver exclaimed as he made the connection of our lake to a simpler ideology.

Next, to gain first-hand knowledge, the Super Crew ventured out into the real world to see how this issue is affecting us locally. Out in the field, the students established that a century ago, the freshwater in our local rivers and lakes were much clearer than they are today. “If you tested in 1980 the water would be super clean, but if you tested now, the water would be very different,” Riley, another third-grader explained. Finally, the students were able to configure their own opinions on this topic.

To further the discussion with their new opinions, the third graders debated the issue with their classmates and teachers. They showcased the topic with others in the form of presentations and posters. Because they “want healthy water to drink and want the animals in the lake to have a good time” (Oliver), the third graders have gained a passion for climate action and protecting the local watershed.