Underwater Explorers: Snorkeling the Champlain Watershed

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In partnership with NOAA, the NAAEE, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, and local 21st Century Community Learning Centers, we are excited to introduce this new after-school and summer watershed program for students and educators in the Champlain Valley.

This is a two-year, progressive program that combines snorkeling and watershed science to improve student STEM skills, train educators on how to integrate environmental education into the curriculum, and inspire all participants to become lake stewards.

To learn more and register for this program, scroll down to the appropriate section.

A note about COVID-19: This program will follow all state and federal guidelines for safe programming. Youth programs and educator trainings will happen virtually or at safe distances with face coverings, or will be delayed until in-person contact is safe.  We will manage supplies and equipment using best management practices defined by industry experts. The watershed still needs our stewardship, even if we can’t be in close proximity to one another!


Calling all curious, water-loving adventurers in Grades 4 to 6! Join the Underwater Explorers Club, a two-year club all about snorkeling and caring for our lake and watersheds. 

Underwater Explorers will meet regularly to dive in (literally!) to pools, rivers, and Lake Champlain. Club members will get fun snorkeling training, go on field trips to local sites, and come together for after-school explorations and activities about habitats, dams, water chemistry, shipwrecks, water treatment plants, maps, and more. No prior snorkeling experience is required to join this club – we’ll learn together!

This club currently for students in Grades 4-6 in the Addison Northwest School District and the Mount Abraham Unified School District. See below for our current schedule for each site and a link to apply.

School ProgramVergennes Fusion (ANWSD)Mt. Abe Expanded Learning (MAUSD)
SemesterSpring 2021Spring 2021
SessionsSign up through Fusion!
February – April sessions will be outdoors as we check out what’s happening underwater in the watershed at this time of year.
See your ELP coordinators at Beeman, Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton, and Robinson to join their fun afterschool sessions.

Update March 2021: Our summer Underwater Explorers Club was so much fun last year we’re doing it again in 2021! We will reconvene for more snorkeling and underwater exploration in rivers, ponds and lakes as much as possible. More information and a schedule will be posted here soon!


Bring hands-on watershed science experiences to your students! 21 CCLC educators in the Addison Northwest School District and Mount Abraham Unified School District are invited to join this two-year program and learn how to integrate snorkeling lessons and watershed science into programs and activities they currently lead.

The team at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and Lake Champlain Sea Grant will work with all participating educators to ensure you receive all the training and assistance you’ll need. In addition, participating 21 CCLC educators will collaborate together to develop fun ways to integrate snorkeling and watershed science into various subject areas.

Participating 21 CCLC educators will receive:

  • Training on how to snorkel
  • Basic watershed science training
  • Opportunities to snorkel in pools, rivers and lakes
  • Opportunities to meet and learn from a national network of educators
  • Confidence in integrating environmental education into teaching
  • Experience using NOAA resources with students
  • Introductions to local partners in water-related careers
  • Recognition from your community
  • Supplies to teach watershed science in your own classes
  • Stipends for your time and reimbursement for your travel!*

Participating 21 CCLC educators agree to commit to:

  • Stewardship of the Lake Champlain watershed
  • Promoting student leadership for watershed stewardship
  • Snorkeling and watershed science trainings
  • Meetings with project team leaders and other 21CCLC educators
  • Creating lessons that integrate Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences (MWEEs) into your teaching
  • Mentoring students to join the Underwater Explorers Club
  • Participation in the evaluation and reporting requirements of the grant

* Stipends for this program will depend on the total number of educators who participate. Travel reimbursement will be at current state rates; carpooling is always encouraged!

Release Forms

All participating students and educators are asked to please fill out an Underwater Explorers release form. The release form will confirm the rights to use images/videos taken of students and educators during the NOAA-21st CCLC Watershed STEM Education Partnership Program. This allows the U.S. Department of Education, NOAA, NAAEE, and the Museum to use/share photos and video with the public. Please use the links below to fill out whichever form works best for you.

Online Release

Fillable Word Doc Forms
This form must be downloaded, filled out, and emailed back to the Museum or your school