Bridges Educator Curriculum & Training Program

Quick Links:

Watershed Stewardship at Home

Bridges Teacher Resource Bank

“How healthy is our stream for aquatic organisms and how do human actions on land impact the health of the stream?”

Flint River GREEN Bridges: Bridging communities, classrooms, curriculum, and careers in the Flint River Watershed

Join our 6th – 8th grade curriculum and educator coaching program that immerses teachers and students in robust, place-based education in coordination with the core Flint River GREEN water chemistry monitoring education program.

Students doing water chemistry tests

Program Highlights:

  • Ongoing multi-dimensional teacher support
  • A flexible science unit incorporating hands-on, citizen science data collection and analysis alongside local water quality experts and community stakeholders
  • Works toward multiple Next Generation/Michigan Science Standards and many cross-curricular connections focusing on the construction of explanations through claim, evidence, and reasoning using a stream health phenomenon
  • Student-led community action projects centered on water quality stewardship
  • Grounded in NOAA’s Meaningful Watershed Education Experiences
  • This unit emphasizes place-based education which is a project-based learning model that immerses students in the stewardship of their own communities. We are guided in this endeavor by Discovering PLACE in University Outreach at University of Michigan – Flint.


JUNE 28 – JUNE 30

Bridges 2021-2022 Application for Participation

The 2021 Bridges Summer Institute: “ACT It Out-side! – Modeling Stewardship Action in our Community” includes:

  • Kayak Trip
  • Storm Drain Stenciling Event
  • Benthic Monitoring
  • Stakeholder Panel
  • Action Project Examples
  • Engagement with Teacher Mentors
  • An introduction and refresher to the materials and core curriculum elements and recent updates


This project supports training and materials for schools within the Flint-River watershed that work to immerse a group of 6th – 8th grade students (options for high school expansion) in a hands-on, placed-based, citizen science watershed curriculum which includes the following:


  • Complete a 20 hour face-to-face Summer Institute focused on watershed literacy, youth voice, content area cross-collaboration, and core unit curriculum pieces (All new Bridges teachers must also complete the 3-5 hour virtual Flint River GREEN Program Training if they have not already done so).
  • Attend additional training sessions and participate in ongoing coaching throughout the school year.
  • Provide water quality data, ongoing feedback, and student artifacts to program organizers.


  • Engage in at least two outdoor field study experiences, with one being water chemistry testing at a local stream.
  • Explore green STEM careers by communicating with local experts throughout implementation of the unit.
  • Present data and project components at annual Student Summit held in late May.
  • Plan and implement a community action project resulting from the analysis of water chemistry data. $500 mini-grant available per school!


Educator training for the core Flint River GREEN youth stream monitoring program is an additional required commitment and a precursor to the program. If you are a new teacher to GREEN, register here for the virtual Flint River GREEN training program in addition to applying for Bridges.

Apply to join the upcoming school year cohort at the following link. All Bridges teachers must also complete the core Flint River GREEN Program Training. Participants are encouraged, but not required, to enroll in teams of 2-3 teachers from the same school; cross-content area and cross-grade collaboration is welcomed. Teams and new participants will receive priority registration. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Bridges 2021-2022 Application for Participation


  • $100 stipend awarded per day to each teacher completing the Summer Institute and follow up workshops ($300 for completion of the three-day Summer Institute and an additional $100 per day for fall planning workshops).
  • $500 mini-grant awarded to each school implementing a student-led community impact project. Funding could be used towards project materials, bussing, or subs with opportunity to leverage for additional funds as needed.  
  • A packaged, yet flexible unit of study plus loaned classroom materials fully supporting NGSS CCCs, DCIs, SEPs and the Michigan Science Standards as well as additional support in Math, ELA, CRE, and the C3 Framework for Social Studies.
  • Access to local, regional, and national career professionals and education resources.

For additional information or questions, please contact Autumn Mitchell, Education Programs Manager at or (810)-767-9491

The 2021 Bridges Summer Institute is generously sponsored by the I-69 Region Mi-STEM Network.

Bridges Program Framework Gallery:

2019 Summer Institute Photos

2020 Press Release – Second Year Funded!