Students are spending less time outdoors than even a generation ago and are missing out on the positive elements associated with nature. Limited access to clean, safe, open spaces discourages many students from taking part in outdoor activities; therefore, efforts to incorporate outdoor learning through formal experiences are more important than ever before. Using the environment as an integrated context for learning, professors collaborated to develop a program that focused on place-based education while seamlessly integrating mathematics and science. By substituting D-nets for iPods and ear buds, students explored issues related to water quality and conservation. Acting as scientists, they analyzed water samples from three ecosystems to determine possible solutions to water quality problems. While the purpose of this article is to highlight a specific program, anecdotal evidence suggests students came to a better understanding of their own sense of place and are better prepared to embrace future environmental challenges.

Key Words: stem, place-based education, water conservation