Water Rocks! Increases Online Environmental Learning

New online programs deliver information, activities and ideas for use by parents, teachers and kids at home

April 14, 2020, 11:06 am | Hilary Pierce

AMES, Iowa – Two streaming video programs are available from Water Rocks!, the statewide water education program based at Iowa State University.

“Water Rocks! Unplugged” is a weekly studio session featuring Water Rocks! music and associated lessons. “Water Rocks! Out of the Box” is a series of short natural resources lessons with at-home activities.

Water Rocks! graphic.Both programs leverage the science education content typically delivered through the Water Rocks! classroom visits and assemblies, which have been put on hold this year by the COVID-19 pandemic. The video programs are available on the Water Rocks! Facebook and YouTube pages.

“The unprecedented closure of schools across Iowa led us to brainstorm some new ways to use technology and remote learning to continue delivering our natural resources and water quality content and lessons to youth around Iowa,” said Ann Staudt, Water Rocks! director at Iowa State University. “Our e-newsletter, ‘The Monday Mix,’ has been well received, and these new streaming options will give teachers, parents and kids some new options to have fun while learning — all while keeping natural resources, water quality and the environment around us at the forefront.”

Water Rocks! Unplugged features Water Rocks! music frontman Todd Stevens, performing acoustic versions of hit songs from the Water Rocks! catalog. Each performance is accompanied by a quick lesson highlighting the key science elements related to the song. New videos will be released every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 p.m.

Water Rocks! Out of the Box is a series of virtual video lessons featuring student intern Emma Flemming, sharing fun, hands-on, at-home adaptations of classroom lessons and interactive activities from the Water Rocks! classroom visit program. Each lesson runs 5-10 minutes, and a new video will be available every Wednesday and Friday at 1 p.m.

Aligned with the new normal of working from home and learning from home, these video projects are being recorded and produced in the performer’s homes.

“Flexibility and innovation are watchwords right now, and Emma and Todd have both come through with creative ideas, effort and content for today’s youth,” said Staudt. “Emma has shown great ingenuity in adapting the Water Rocks! activities for at-home use. Building on her experience visiting classrooms in our Water Resources Internship Program last summer – she’s truly driving the Out of the Box project. We are excited to launch both of these new video series.”

All Water Rocks! programming is correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by most Iowa school districts.

Teacher, parent and student links to music, videos, games and educational resources are available free of charge at www.waterrocks.org.

Follow these links:




Original photo: Water Rocks! video graphic.

About the Authors: