Adolescent Session
Science Water Quality Occupation
Presenters: Guy Calise and Mike Piskel

March 16 – 17 2019

Join veteran Montessori teacher, Guy Calise, and thirty year high school biology teacher, Mike Piskel, as they walk you through the steps of a Montessori occupation for adolescents. Curriculum covered includes: fundamentals of Ecology from biodiversity of ecosystems to energy transfer, food chains, water quality (turbidity, temperature, current, pH, and fecal coliform) and trophic levels. This work is suitable for any body of fresh water.

Together Piskel and Calise will guide you through what to do, what materials you need to do it, and a step-by-step approach of how to implement this curriculum into your science classes. This work was already field tested by Countryside Day School with their Montessori adolescents. Countryside students started off the year with Ecology concepts and activities that were used to prepare the them for river work by acquainting them with the vocabulary and terminology they used during their water quality testing.

Students then learned about their chosen areas of study and conducted practice tests before they went to the river for their actual collections. They learned proper procedure, techniques and safety protocols for collecting the data. The students broke into groups and became “experts” in their fields and finally put together presentations at the end of the quarter to share their data and results with the rest of the class.

If you are working to continue to move your science curriculum closer to the occupation model, this seminar is for you.

Ecology and Water Quality Materials

Enhance your instruction of the water quality occupation with two digital PowerPoint presentations and accompanying note/activity templates, these presentations will guide students and instructors with a variety of concepts and processing mandated activities.

Presentation #1 Ecology Concepts: introduces the class to the disciplines of biology and ecology including the common characteristics of living organisms, biodiversity, biomes, ecosystem dynamics including energy transfer, and biogeochemical cycles along with adaptions of organisms to their environment. (146 slides)

Presentation #2 Importance of Water and Rivers: details the importance of water and the features of rivers with emphasis on the amount of available fresh water by exploring the water cycle and its distribution on earth, the features of rivers and their accompanying watersheds along with river dynamics, and the human impact on rivers.

Each presentation comes complete with word document templates that lead students through the presentation and organize both accompanying activities and note taking strategies to support and their understanding of concepts and scientific literacy. With these materials you may edit and modify each presentation and activity template to fit your style of instruction and geographical location.

As a bonus included on the flash drive will be a presentation tailored on how to construct a formal lab write-up that accompanies the biodiversity lab activity, and a case study PowerPoint on the history of the Chicago River.

Cost: $250 for the flash drive containing these materials. This can be purchased at the workshop or contact Wendy Calise at