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Educational Resources for Students and Teachers


Agency specialists are available for presentations at teacher training workshops, school programs and other educational forums.

If you would like an education program for your organization, please download and fill out the education outreach request form.

Protecting the Environment

More than 5700 women and men work for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in a variety of challenging jobs, all with the goal of protecting and enhancing New York City's environmental quality. We are scientists, engineers, clerical workers, educators, attorneys, laborers, plumbers, inspectors, community organizers, and more. Together we work in New York City and in eight upstate counties to deliver a dependable supply of the highest quality drinking water; to protect local waterways through superior wastewater management; and to enhance air quality. We promote water conservation; handle toxic site restoration and hazardous materials emergencies; enforce asbestos clean-up rules and the City's noise regulations; and identify environmental threats to public health and the region's natural resources.

Programs and Materials

DEP offers a wide range of free educational programs and materials for students and teachers. These include information about the City's vital water supply and wastewater treatment systems, water conservation, water and air quality, and other environmental concerns.

Teacher workshops

To help teachers unravel the mysteries of the City's water supply and wastewater treatment systems, we offer exciting hands-on workshops. New workshops about other important environmental issues are being developed. We can arrange programs at your school or district office during staff meetings or staff development days. We also conduct workshops at City-wide conferences, including Saturday Science, the Science Council of New York City (SCONYC) and Operation Explore.

Our workshops and education programs reflect the needs of different grades and student abilities. Teacher workshops include background information on the issues and a variety of fun and practical hands-on activities. Participating teachers receive packets of educational materials and are given priority in DEP's field trip program.

Special events

Since 1986, DEP has conducted a popular Water Conservation Art and Poetry Contest. The contest is open to all fouth, fifth and sixth grade students from public, private and parochial schools throughout New York City. We encourage teachers to participate in this event, because it offers students a wonderful opportunity to be creative while learning about their drinking water supply and the importance of water conservation. Winners are honored at a special awards ceremony held during National Drinking Water Week, the first full week in May.

Classroom resources

DEP has developed a wide variety of materials to encourage and stimulate environmental education. The following list describes some of DEP's publications (many available in class sets), videotapes and other informational materials.

Suggested Reading List a few excellent resources available for children and adults wishing to read about water and the New York City water supply system. For a comprehensive understanding of water, be sure to explore literature focusing on many areas of study, including art, science, technology and history.

Dripnet — a lively 9-minute video take-off on Dragnet that describes New York City's water conservation programs and teaches children and adults how to save water in or out of a drought. Dripnet is distributed with special New York City Drip Patrol badges for each student. Free loan. Sale price $10.00.

The Magic School Bus at the Waterworks — a special New York City edition of the popular Scholastic book that takes Ms. Frizzle and her students on a colorful, raindrop-to-faucet tour of the New York City water supply system, including maps. Copies of the book are available exclusively through DEP for $4.00.

The New York Water Saver's Workbook — explore how water is used every day, why it is important to conserve water and ways we can protect our water supply. This workbook is filled with thought-provoking activities for grade school children, all based on award-winning entries from DEP's annual Water Conservation Art and Poetry Contest.

Watershed Maps — follow the flow of New York City's drinking water from the Catskill, Delaware and Croton watersheds in Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Putnam, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester Counties north and west of the City, through aqueducts and tunnels into the five boroughs.

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