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​​​ ​​​​Groundwater Model Workshops: Application & Resources

Groundwater supplies drinking water to the majority​ of Wisconsin citizens; and it is important that students understand where their drinking water comes from and how to protect it. As a component of physical and environmental science curriculums, groundwater can be difficult for students to understand.  The sand-tank groundwater model is a valuable tool for helping visualize the movement of groundwater and pollutants through underground materials.​​​

Benefits of attending this 1-day workshop:

  • Receive a FREE sand-tank groundwater model for your school or organization 
  • Experience with hands-on, place-based lessons to help you feel more confident teaching your students about groundwater. 
  • Receive additional resources to guide student learning and meet NGSS standards!
  • Reimbursement available should your school need a substitute teacher to cover your classes while you attend the workshop.

The training is provided by staff from the Wisconsin DNR, the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, UW-Stevens Point Center for Watershed Science and Education, and the UW-Madison, Division of Extension's Natural Resources Institute. Funding for the groundwater workshops comes from a wellhead protection "setaside" grant given to the DNR by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

How to Attend the Workshop:

Any Wisconsin teacher, naturalist, or other educators who teach about groundwater are eligible to apply. Twenty educators will be selected. If you are accepted, you will  have the opportunity to attend a one-day workshop and receive a FREE groundwater model for their school, nature center, or organization. 

​1. Participate in a one-day training session.​
2. Agree to incorporate the model into your curriculum or educational programming
3. Agree to demonstrate the groundwater model with 15 or more students annually
4. Agree to perform at least one activity that has a "take-home" component
5. Complete and submit a pre/post workshop evaluation​.

Please note: Because the funding is from the Wisconsin DNR, the workshop is limited to educators that teach in the state of Wisconsin.  

Application for the 2025 Groundwater Model Teacher Workshop will be available in January 2025.

Questions about the workshop or to be notified when application is made available contact Kevin Masarik,, 715-346-4276. 

What past participants have said about the workshops

We recently evaluated the effectiveness of the groundwater models and the ​​workshops that have been conducted over the past 10 years. Click here to view the Executive Summary

Workshop Resources:

Additional groundwater related video links

Aquifer penetration using Groundwater Model - YouTube

Groundwater Model Demo with Captions - YouTube

Little Plover River Pump Test - YouTube

Other Groundwater Resources

Wisconsin Groundwater Study Guide - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Great Lakes, Small Streams: How water shapes Wisconsin. Student Activity Guide - Wisconsin Historical Society

Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey - Your one stop shop for information on the geology of Wisconsin. Order maps, rocks and find other great information by visiting their website. 

What's Wrong With My Water?  - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

WI Well Water Quality Viewer - Search for well water quality information in your community using this interactive mapping viewer. 

Ordering Groundwater Model Parts and Supplies

UWSP Groundwater Model Project - for ordering extra parts or model repair


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