Educators Guide to Aqueduct Futures

Download the AF Educator’s Guide [PDF]


The Aqueduct Futures’ Educator’s Guide is directed at educators, parents, students, and the public during your visit to the Aqueduct Futures exhibit and exploration of the project’s website. As global citizens, we all need the ability to engage our complex world so we can adapt to our changing planet and the depletion of resources. The references and resources shared here will take you deeper into the science of water, how to make our cities more resilient, and ways to conserve water and create habitat.

The guide provides resources for educators to further explore the water/energy nexus and California’s water supply system. Each resource features hands-on or online activities, and most are free or available at nominal cost; a few require the educator to have a password or similar for access.

The exhibit’s panels and maps are intended to raise questions about:

  • Attitudes towards water and nature
  • What impacts and social cost can be tolerated to supply water to our cities
  • How can we equitably share common resources
  • What will the future of Los Angeles be with less water
  • How small rural communities can be regain control of their resources


Before going further, take a moment to consider the following brain drops and add your own:

  • Who? Is the audience for the lesson? (Science students, english language learners, homeschooled children, visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or other learners)
  • What? Are you looking for lesson plans, new activities, or other resources? Is the lesson teacher/educator driven, student-driven, or a mix? Does the lesson need to meet California and/or national education standards? Are there any associated costs (special equipment, online access, other)?
  • Where? Will this happen in school or another learning environment?
  • How? Is there easy access to the lesson/activity plan and its components? Is there a need for assessment tool such as grading?
  • Which? Which students work best in teams, one-on-one or individually?
  • How? How much time is needed to complete the lesson or activity?
  • Who? Who can provide additional support (teachers, student peers, volunteers, parents, college students, scientists and technicians)
  • How? How comprehensive is the lesson/activity? Does it include more than one subject (for example writing and presenting as part of an algebra lesson)? Is the resource current, accurate, and and/or have an engaging format?

It is important is to identify your goals and challenges:

  • Consider energy and water, past, present and future in your region.
  • Check for potential socio-economic, environmental or other bias in education resources.
  • Suggested activities for use of static or dynamic content.






Source Los Angeles Department of Water and Power California Environmental Protection Agency United States Environmental Protection Agency Project WET Foundation
Start here

QUest Subjects Math, science, technology History/social science, science Science Science; multidisciplinary
Grade levels 6-12 5-12 6-8 4-12
Access Download CA Public school educators with password online Free or purchase at nominal price
Associated costs Internet accessEquipment for some hands-on activities TBD Internet access Internet access; varies depending on curriculum and training
Need for educator involvement High TBD Moderate  Moderate to high
Funded by Los Angeles Department of Water and Power State of California, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and others Government of United States (Environmental Protection Agency) 501(c)(3) non-profit funded through fundraising and grants
Other support Target Science Teacher Network, a program of the Los Angeles Education Partnership (formerly Urban Education Partnership)
Use of design elements Fair but adequate for purpose High 


High  Moderate to high depending on resource
Resource strength(s) Pilot tested by LAUSD teachers; career oriented New content/format for environmental education Content is clear, easy to understand Mix of static and dynamic content
Resource weakness(s) Difficult to duplicate due to teacher time constraints Limited potential to develop student interest in STEM unless there are changes in public education Unlikely to trigger student discussions on political issues related to climate change Time needed to go through the educational tools and to make follow-up calls for
Precipitation zone(s) Arid Arid and semi-arid Wide range Wide range; depends on lesson plan or activity guide
Connections to water/energy use and lifestyle Yes Yes Yes Yes



Los Angeles Times’ Water, Energy, the Environment and You (access limited to Los Angeles City School Teachers)

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power educational programs  

High school competition: The science bowl

Elementary School Theater


California Environmental Protection Agency’s Education and the Environment Initiative

The California Department of Water Resources

For additional information and lesson plans

The California Energy Commission

Five water education lessons for adults learning English

The Adult ELS Teacher guide

 Adult ESL Student workbook

Los Angeles Aqueduct History

Cadillac Desert

Mulhollands Dream

Owens Valley 

Mulholland Builds the Aqueduct

A Few Activities

Water Footprint Calculator

The water cycle game from NASA

Project WET: Discovering Drought KIDs Activity Booklet

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