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2020 Fall Watershed Expeditions at Home

Student exploring their watershed on a hike. 

Discovery Box + Virtual Experience 

  • 4 Weeks in October- November 2020 
  • 4th-7th & 8th-12th Grade 
  • 10 Activities & 4 Virtual Experiences 
  • Tuition: $50 per student 

Financial Aid is Available! 

Registration is now CLOSED! 


We are Here to Support Your Family! 

It's hard to believe that Summer is winding down and the first signs of Autumn are revealing themselves. This fall carries many (if not more) challenges that we have all been navigating for months. We want you to know that Missouri River Relief is here for you and is dedicated to supporting your family. That is why we are offering a Discovery Box + Virtual Experience session this fall. Watershed Expeditions at Home might be the answer if you are a homeschooled family, a grandparent providing after school care, or in need of a plan for a fun weekend with your family. 

We All Live in a Watershed! 

Our experienced instructors invite your family for a month-long watershed expedition. No matter where you live, you live in a watershed. A watershed is kind of like a bathtub or a sink. It’s an area of land that drains to a single body of water such as a lake or river. Watersheds come in many different sizes. A few acres might drain into a small stream or wetland, or a few rivers might drain into a large river, like the Missouri River.  

We are all connected by watersheds, and now more than ever, we need connections during these times of isolation. Watershed Expeditions does exactly that! Students will have the opportunity to connect and socialize with peers. They will explore their local watershed and investigate how actions of people who live in a watershed affect the health of the waters that run through it. They will learn to tell the story of their watershed and how to help protect the health of their watershed.

What is Watershed Expeditions? 

Watershed Expeditions is a combination of a Discovery Box and Virtual Experience that brings the fun of outdoor science to your home! This balanced approach promotes outdoor activities and creative thinking that students can do from home. 

Discovery Box

  • Discovery Box provides fun, meaningful activities for students. Discovery Box includes 10 activities over the course of four weeks that are science based, screen-free, encourage outdoor time, and minimize demands on parents. 
  • Each student that registers will receive a Discovery Box in the mail the last week of October with all the materials and instructions for individual watershed exploration. In the box, students will receive written instructions on how to do each activity. 
  • Discovery Box will include everything you need to keep your student engaged: activities, crafts, and STEM projects. Instruction for these activities will be age-appropriate and connected to a theme for each week. 

Included is 10 science and nature activities with supplies and instructions:

  • Watercolor Paints & Brush 
  • Watercolor Paper 
  • Colored Pencils
  • Heavy Duty Trash Bags 
  • Gloves 
  • Envelope & Stamp 
  • Water Filtration Material 
  • Bird Feeder Material 
  • Water Quality Testing Kit 
  • Pencils and Eraser
  • Pencil Sharpener
  • Water bottle
  • Missouri River Relief T-Shirt
  • Missouri River Relief Sticker 

Virtual Experience 

  • The virtual experience is the digitally-interactive aspect of Watershed Expeditions that brings the peer social experience to your home. 
  • The virtual experience will be conducted entirely through Zoom video chat. Our instructors will lead your student through a variety of activities that take place during pre-determined Zoom dates and times. Please see the information below for more information on when each session is happening.
  • Zoom session sizes will remain at a 1:10 ratio to ensure each student will receive an adequate amount of attention.

Our goal is to bring our incredible staff, instruction, and the community you love at Missouri River Relief to your home! We believe our families and students need experiences like this more than ever. Please consider enjoying this program with siblings or registering with friends and participate as a small group or pod in your neighborhood. 

Watershed Expeditions Activities 

Each week’s activities will focus on a certain topic pertaining to exploration of the students’ local watershed.

Week 1: Exploring Seasonal Changes in Your Watershed (October 28-29)

  • Discovery Box Activities: Seasonal Watercolor Activity, Scavenger Hunt, Build A Bird Feeder Activity
  • Virtual Experience Activities: Welcome, Get to Know Each Other, Share Discoveries, Watershed Olympics, and Community Time.

Week 2: Understanding the Forces that Shape our Watershed Quality  (November 4-5)

  • Discovery Box Activities: Local Clean Up, Trash Tally with Comic Strip, Water Quality Testing 
  • Virtual Experience Activities:  Meet an Ocean Trash Warrior, Share Discoveries, Tour Message in a Bottle Collection, Watershed Olympics and Community Time. 

Week 3: Thinking Like A Scientist to Improve Watershed Quality (November 11-12)

  • Discovery Box Activities: What Would a Scientist Do Activity, Water Filtration Challenge, Watershed Challenge Prototype (i.e. Pen Pal with another Student)
  • Virtual Experience  Activities: Meet a Watershed Innovator, Share Discoveries, Discuss Watershed Project, Watershed Olympics and Community Time. 

Week 4: Designing a Healthier Watershed for Everyone (November 18-19)

  • Discovery Box Activities: Watershed Challenge Project 
  • Virtual Experience Activities: Share Watershed Challenge Project, Final Watershed Olympics, Celebration and Community Time. 

What is the Watershed Challenge Project?

  • During Watershed Expeditions, students learn how trash effects their local and global watershed. Students will then learn how to use their skills as a scientist to design a project that could help solve the issue of trash. Each student will then have the option to share their project in our last virtual experience. 

What is the Missouri River Olympics?

  • Missouri River Olympics is a series of team building activities used to enhance social relations and often involve collaborative tasks.  

What is Community Time?

  • Each week we have built in the opportunity for students to “hang out” with each other; to share discoveries, tell stories about their adventures, or ask for additional feedback on their activities. Community time provides a unique opportunity for all the students to be able to socialize and make new friendships. 

Watershed Expeditions Schedule 

Watershed Expeditions will happen the month of October to November 2020. Our virtual experience will meet once a week via “Zoom” video chat and at registration you will have the option to select your preferred date from the following options:  

4th-7th Graders

Dates: Thursday, October 29th, November 5th, 12th, 19th 

  • Session 1: Thursday Morning: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM CST 
  • FULL Session 2: Thursday Afternoon: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CST 

Dates: Wednesday, October 28th, November 4th, 11th, 18th 

  • Session 3: Wednesday Afternoon: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CST

8th-12th Graders

Dates: Wednesday, October 28th, November 4th, 11th, 18th 

  • Session 1: Wednesday Morning: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM CST 
  • CLOSED Session 2: Wednesday Afternoon: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CST

Watershed Expeditions: Guest Speakers 

Our Virtual Experience brings the most engaging guest speakers right to your home. We will travel to many different types of watersheds as your student gets to learn from the experts. Below is the lineup for our Fall Watershed Expeditions at Home program. 

Meet an Ocean Trash Warrior

We will be traveling to warmer climate and getting a little tropical for our week two guest speakers. We will learn how other organizations approach the issue of trash in our watershed, as they include the education directors from Algalita in California and Sustainable Coastlines in Hawaii. 

  • Algalita has been at the forefront of the Great Plastics Awakening. Their mission is to lead the world to a plastic pollution free future and empower young people to think critically, demand action and be agents for change. Algalita will join our morning sessions on November 4th and 5th. To learn more, visit their website here. 

  • Sustainable Coastlines in Hawaii utilizes clean-ups to inspire better consumer behaviors and continued coastal stewardship through education and social media. Sustainable Coastlines will join us the afternoon on November 4th and 5th. To learn more, visit their website here. 

Meet a Watershed Innovator 

  • You will never guess who we have joining us! He is kind of a A list celebrity in our watershed! His name is Mr. Trash Wheel from Baltimore, Maryland. On week three Mr. Trash Wheel will share how his trash wheel was designed to collect trash from the river and how he has used his popularity to bring awareness to the issue of trash in his watershed. To learn more about Mr. Trash Wheel visit his website here

Watershed Expeditions in the Media 

Read about this program in the Gasconade County Republican Newspape

Read about this program in the Columbia Missourian 

View pictures of the Watershed Expeditions on our Flickr Account. 

What Families Have to Share

"My granddaughter called me to tell me how much she loves the program.  She never calls.  She was mega-excited and her parents were delighted with Camp Day #1.  Her parents and both sisters (8 year old and 4 year old) went through the activities with her and the 8 year-old kid with learning challenges, who feels school just is not for her, won the family contest to float the boat. As a longtime high school science teacher, I had students with varying backgrounds coming to my classes.  If I had been able to advise their parents and previous teachers on how to prepare a kid for chemistry, my request would have been to give the kids a positive attitude toward science.  Thanks for a varied, fun, and high-quality summer program that so far hits all the right science for 10 year-olds." -Watershed Expeditions Grandma

We are digging into activities and the boxes today and my kids are so excited about all of the material!  We thought we were in the Hinkson watershed but we are on the edge of Rocky Fork Creek instead! This is fun, thank you for providing this alternative this summer!  -Watershed Expeditions Parent

 Registration Process

Complete the online enrollment process here or by calling 573.443.0292 by October 16th, 2020. Please have your payment information ready when enrolling. 

Financial Aid Application 

Financial aid is available to qualified participants. To apply for financial aid, complete the financial aid application by October 14th, 2020. 

We will begin awarding financial aid at the end of October 2020 and then continue making awards on a rolling basis until all available funds are awarded. Once you are notified of your financial aid award, you will be given a deadline to accept the award. Please Do NOT register before you are notified of your award.  

Student Sponsorship 

Thank you so much for considering sponsoring a student. You can complete your sponsorship by mail or online.

  • Send a check to: Missouri River Relief P.O. Box 463 Columbia, MO 65205.
  • Or donate online via our online form

With either donation leave us a note and let us know that you would like to support the “Watershed Expeditions at Home” program. If you have any specific request with the donation (i.e that it be provided to a student from your hometown) just email our education director your request.  

Frequently Asked Questions


Who can participate in Watershed Expeditions? 

Watershed Expeditions is designed for rising 4th-7th graders and rising 8th-12th graders. Each grade level range will receive age-appropriate instruction and activities. Each grade level range will also have separate virtual experiences. 

What if my student is not interested in the virtual experience? 

Well, our guest speakers are pretty cool and we do have a lot of fun, but we understand that it does not work for every family. You can choose to not to participate in the virtual experience and just complete the Discovery Box activities. 

What is included in the tuition cost? 

Tuition costs $50 per student and includes instruction and supplies for 10 activities over the course of four weeks, access to weekly virtual experience “Zoom” video chat and priority access to the Education Director, Kristen Schulte, for any questions.

How are the discovery box activities arriving at my home? 

Discovery Box will be shipped to the address provided in your registration form. Our shipping fee is built into the tuition of the program. We will ship all Discovery Box supplies the last week of October. 

Do I need to have any special tech equipment for virtual experience? 

Students will need internet access to a smartphone, tablet, or a computer with a camera on it to participate in virtual experience.

Do I need "Zoom" video chat for the virtual experience? 

Yes! Downloading the FREE Zoom app on a device that has audio and video capability will be necessary before virtual experience begins. We will send an email with more Zoom instructions for the first week. In the meantime, you can read about Zoom set-up here. 

If we didn't answer your question, then please e-mail or call 573.443.0292.

Watershed Expeditions at Home Staff


Kristen Schulte, Education Director 

Kristen has over 14 years of experience in environmental education and an MS in Natural Science Education from Teton Science Schools Residential Graduate Program. In addition, she has been certified for over eight years as a Wilderness First Responder. In her role at Missouri River Relief, she works to advance MRR's mission of connecting people to the Missouri River through education.|


Anna Miller, AmeriCorps: Education Assistant 

Anna lives in Rocheport, Missouri and graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and a robust minor in English. She was involved with several science and conservation-oriented organizations during her undergraduate years, including the Biology honor society Beta Beta Beta.  She enjoys spending weekends relaxing on or in the Missouri River, lounging with a book, obsessively collecting candles or relishing in both the successes and failures of her late night baking habit. 



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