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Pre-College Programs

West Vandenberg Hall, Room 120
502 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4455
Fax: (248) 370-4463
8a.m. - 5p.m.

Pre-College Programs

West Vandenberg Hall, Room 120
502 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4455
Fax: (248) 370-4463
8a.m. - 5p.m.

A group of kids watching an interactive demonstration about water.

Clinton River Water Festival

Clinton River Water Festival 2020 Update:

With the State of Michigan declaring a state of emergency based on confirmed cases of COVID-19, we, at Oakland University, are taking a range of measures to protect and maintain the safety and health our community. It is with great regret to inform you that the 14th Annual Clinton River Water Festival which was scheduled 15th of May, 2020 has been cancelled.

Following the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Michigan State Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Oakland County Health Division, and Oakland University public health safety experts, we are taking actions that are intended to slow the spread of the virus and protect the health of our community. Oakland University has suspended all university-sponsored events, effective immediately until April 25th, including those hosted by registered student organizations and involving external visitors. 

We recognize that these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many, and will have financial implications for the University. However, the health and safety of our community is our focus at this extraordinary time.

2016 Clinton River Water Festival Video Water Festival Videos Water Festival Photos

Information for Teachers

Oakland University is pleased to welcome you and your students to the Clinton River Water Festival. We hope you and your students will find it educational and enjoyable. The importance of clean water to us, and our future, cannot be overstated. It is our hope that the Clinton River Water Festival will promote and augment many of the environmental lessons taught to children.

The 2020 Clinton River Water Festival at Oakland University will take place on May 15 and will accommodate up to 28 classes.  The Water Festival is a full day educational experience for students from Clinton River watershed community schools in Oakland County.  Students will learn about the central role water and the Clinton River plays within their region.

Oakland University in Rochester offers an outstanding learning environment as the university is situated on Galloway Creek as it joins Clinton River main.  each class will attend a series of outdoor and indoor presentations.  Each presentation will be approximately 25 minutes and will be designed, as much as possible, to be interactive, hands-on learning experiences.  All presentations relate to water, its uses, and critical importance to us and our environment.

Approximately two weeks before the Water Festival, each registered class will receive a Water Festival package outlining their day's events and listing any other important information.

What is a Water Festival?
Water Festivals are designed to help 5th grade students learn about the importance of water and how it is used in their daily lives.  The objective of a water festival is to provide students with activities to help them understand water resource related issues.  Some of these issues include:

  • Ecosystem (biodiversity, polluted vs. unpolluted water, urban vs. rural settings, wetlands)
  • Geosphere (the Great Lakes, the river, streambank erosion, impacts on habitat)
  • Hrydrologic Cycle (sources of pollution, wastewater treatment, surface water, creeks and streams)
Who are the Presenters?
Possible presenters include: professionals from local, state and federal government agencies, natural resource groups, environmental consultants, universities, museums, and college students

What are the Educational Benefits?
Each teacher will leave the Water Festival with water resource curriculum guide, reviewed by local educators and water resource professionals.  Each water resource guide is filled with ideas to further implement a water-based curriculum in the classroom.  Presentations offered at the Water Festival are intended to reinforce the current science curriculum taught at elementary schools throughout the Clinton River Watershed.

Who is Invited to attend the Water Festival?
All fifth grade classes in Oakland County Schools that are within the Clinton River Watershed area.  However, space is limited to approximately 28 classes.

What is the Cost?
This educational event is free to schools.  Additionally, all Water Festival presenters and volunteers provide their time and expertise for free.
Information for Presenters

Thank you so much for volunteering your time and expertise as a presenter at the 2019 Clinton River Water Festival. Your time and effort as a professional will have an impact on the students for years to come.

They may not all become water professionals, but they will be voters in a community where water issues will require citizen input. They will need proper information to make informed decisions, especially about the Clinton River.

Fifth grade students are at a specific place in their developmental process. Below are some simple suggestions to help you prepare a successful presentation based on strategies designed for a fifth grader’s ability. Please note that these are only suggestions. The most important part of your presentation is you and your expertise and creativity.

  1. Keep in mind that fifth grade students have the attention span of 10 year olds — a statement of the obvious but often overlooked by those of us who live in an adult only world.
  2. You can hold the fifth graders attention by dividing your topic into 3-5 minute segments. Short, simple portions of information will be received with enthusiasm. Even the most complex topics can be presented in small bits.
  3. The first segments should be introductory and informational. The later segments should be an opportunity for your students to problem solve and make predictions based on what you taught them.
  4. Keep your sentences short and topics in simple, concise form.
  5. Allow your segments to move quickly — but don’t race. Timing will keep you interesting and will keep your fifth graders engaged.
  6. Smile! Keep your delivery upbeat and personal.
  7. Choose a theme or catch phrase that you can incorporate into each segment. Think of the one concept that you want each student to remember and turn it into a jingle that you can repeat (or that they can repeat in unison with you) and that they will remember.
  8. Ask for volunteers. Fifth graders love to help perform even the simplest tasks. Have them hold your pointer, plug in your overhead projector, close the door, hold a poster, distribute worksheets, etc.