Science Education on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway: An Outreach Effort for K-12 Students and Teachers in Northeast Mississippi

Author(s): Langley, K. ;  Kerzel, D.

Mississippi University for Women’s (MUW) Science Education on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway project endeavors to provide enhanced science education opportunities for K-12 students and teachers in northeast Mississippi. As an institution, MUW has established itself as a leader in Mississippi by offering relevant and innovative educational outreach programs. In particular, the Department of Sciences and Mathematics has a strong track record spanning over a decade of providing high quality science and mathematics enrichment for elementary, middle, and high school groups. By working to increase the knowledge base in science and mathematics, our programs will enable Mississippians to better meet the challenges of the future.

In this program, hands-on science and mathematics activities for students and teachers will be the central focus. These programs will be made useful to participants in one of two contexts: (1) how information presented can be used to improve the quality of life for people, and (2) how it can be used to benefit the environment. Workshop activities will take place primarily at the Plymouth Bluff Environmental Center, a learning facility which is part of MUW. The MUW Explorer, a 36’ by 10’ pontoon boat which has been designed as a floating teaching laboratory, will be used to engage participants in science activities on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Other activities will be outdoors at Plymouth Bluff and in the classroom setting there. These activities will allow the participants to construct their own understanding of science in a real-world setting. Specific topics covered include forest and aquatic ecology, wildlife biology, geology, astronomy, and sustainable living strategies. Much of the program will focus on hydrology workshops conducted on the waterway. These programs will educate teachers and students on chemical and physical properties that dictate water quality, aquatic macroinvertebrates and benthic index concepts, nonpoint source pollution caused by rural and urban landscape alteration, responsible watershed management, and stream morphology, ground water concepts, and the importance of wetlands.

Participants will be evaluated to assess the success of the program in terms of teacher competency and utilization of material in classrooms and student interest and performance in science. Demographic information will also be collected and analyzed to assure that people of all racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and ability levels are taking advantage of our programs. Work for this entire outreach project has been supported by a generous congressionally funded grant.


Technical Presentations

  • Delta Water Quality
  • Delta Water and Agriculture
  • Wetlands
  • Water Quality
  • Sediments
  • Non-Point
  • Management and Sustainability
  • Wood Treatment
  • Modeling
  • Soil and Water Treatment


Responsible Site Design: Implementing Innovative Stormwater Management Strategies

The primary goal of the workshop is to create a dynamic learning experience that examines the role of stormwater management in the built environment. The workshop will focus on integrating ecologically sound water management approaches into site design. After the workshop, attendees will be familiar with the following concepts and technical issues:

  • Knowledge of the stormwater treatment chain
  • Knowledge of the impact of land use codes on stormwater management
  • Application of a design process that mitigates the effects of stormwater on-site
  • Knowledge of the relationship between land use codes and design for innovative stormwater management


For information contact:
Jessie Schmidt
Box 9680
Mississippi State, MS 39762