Our World of Watersheds
Review the water cycle and learn more about the watersheds of Southwestern Pennsylvania and their connection to river health.
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
Rivers of Steel’s freshwater plankton identification charts.
How to use a plankton net to acquire plankton to look at under a microscope.
Instructional video on how to make a wet mount slide.
Visit our virtual river and collect macroinvertebrates to learn what these indicator species can tell us about the health of our rivers.
Watch as adult mayflies complete metamorphosis and “hatch” from the Ohio River.
Learn which birds are common in and around Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers and use adaptation clues for identifying them.
Find out how to use binoculars to investigate birds in your backyard or local park.
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.