Waterways Stage combines the power of the performance arts with the joy of scientific investigation to engage students and their communities in their local watersheds. Classrooms from around Vermont collaborate with expert educators from Very Merry Theatre and ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain to research and perform original plays on a pressing water quality issue.
For 6 continuous years, Waterways Stage has collaborated with 15 schools throughout central and northern Vermont. Our culminating Festival performance of all the plays is a celebration the whole community looks forward to. We are now offering this program to classrooms with a hybrid or completely virtual option to make it fit your classroom needs.
- How does human activity affect native ecosystems?
- What factors influence the ability of organisms to reproduce and survive?
- How can narrative be used to accurately communicate information on scientific topics?
- How can Performance arts be used to engage the community in scientific topics?
- Students will increase knowledge of ecology and cultural history of their local watershed.
- Students will increase their interest in scientific and societal issues facing their communities.
- Students will increase their ability to work creatively with others
- Students will increase their confidence in their ability to understand scientific information.
- Students will increase confidence in their ability to express their ideas using language and the performance arts.
Link to Introduction Video:
Benefits of Participation
- Increased student interest in scientific and social issues facing their communities
- Increased student ability to work creatively with others
- 2 in-person Very Merry teaching artist sessions
- 2 in-person ECHO educator sessions
- Complimentary admission to ECHO
Classroom Commitment (10 - 20 hrs)
- Researching a local watershed issue
- Writing an original 8 - 15 min play
- Constructing props and costumes
- Performing your play for the community
- December 1: End of program enrollment
- January: New teacher orientation
- February - March: Very Merry outreach sessions
- April: Play performances
How to Participate
Interested K - 12th grade classrooms should contact Sarah Hewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. Program spots are limited to 10 schools per year with priority given to returning schools and those with multiple participating classrooms.
Very Merry Theatre Warm-up Games (broken link need to re-do)
Audubon Vermont: Information about birds and avian conservation efforts in Vermont.
Lake Champlain Basin Program: Comprehensive resource for all things Lake Champlain, including specific materials for educators.
Lake Champlain Committee: Great science and policy resource, particularly for up-to-date Lake Champlain news.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife: State information about our endangered and threatened species.
Vermont Reptile & Amphibian Atlas: Detailed information about Vermont’s reptiles and amphibians.
Funding for this project came from a 2017 Local Heritage grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.