Virtual STEM Programs

watershed activity

Our World of Watersheds

Review the water cycle and learn more about the watersheds of Southwestern Pennsylvania and their connection to river health.

Watersheds (Google Slides)
Two boys look in microscopes

Plankton Lab

Discover the world of freshwater plankton and practice your plankton identification skills through our virtual plankton samples collected from the Ohio River in Pittsburgh. The Plankton Data Sheets can be printed out for use at home or school or just used as an example—especially if students are maintaining their own science journals. Watch videos on how plankton is collected from the rivers and how to make a wet mount slide

Plankton Lab (Google Slides)

Phytoplankton Key & Zooplankton Key

Rivers of Steel’s freshwater plankton identification charts.

Phytoplankton Key (PDF)Zooplankton Key (PDF)

Plankton Data Sheets

Classroom Worksheet

Plankton Data Sheets (PDF)

Plankton Tow Procedures

How to use a plankton net to acquire plankton to look at under a microscope.

Plankton Tow (YOUTUBE)

How to Mount a Wet Slide

Instructional video on how to make a wet mount slide.

Wet Slide (YOUTUBE)
macroinvertebrate lab

Macroinvertebrate Lab

Visit our virtual river and collect macroinvertebrates to learn what these indicator species can tell us about the health of our rivers.

Macroinvertebrate Lab (Google Slides)

2020 North Shore Mayfly Hatch

Watch as adult mayflies complete metamorphosis and “hatch” from the Ohio River.

Mayfly Hatch (YouTube)

River Food Web Worksheet

Decide how aquatic organisms are related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions in this sample river food web.

River Food Web (PDF)
Crane in Mon River Valley

Pittsburgh River Birds and Their Adaptations

Learn which birds are common in and around Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers and use adaptation clues for identifying them.

River Birds (Google Slides)

How to Use Binoculars

Find out how to use binoculars to investigate birds in your backyard or local park.

Binoculars (Google Slides)

Engine Room Tour

Join Captain Ryan for a virtual tour of Explorer’s engine room.  Docked on Pittsburgh’s North Shore near the headwaters of the Ohio River, the Explorer was designed and built to LEED standards to host the award-winning STEM student education programs now led by Rivers of Steel. Explorer’s propulsion system is a hybrid diesel electric type. Through power can be drawn directly from either generators or large battery banks and the propulsion of the boat is run by electricity.

Engine Room Tour (YouTube)

Book early! Contact us to schedule

a learning experience for your students with Rivers of Steel.