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Project Swell

Project SWELL (Stewardship: Water Education for Lifelong Leadership) is a school-based science curricula that teaches children about the importance of the region's recreational waterways. The impact of human-water interaction is explored through a well-balanced, comprehensive, and hands-on water quality and pollution prevention course of study. Through classroom presentations, Project SWELL helps to empower and educate students about how to understand and improve the condition of San Diego waterways.

Project SWELL is administered through a a ground-breaking partnership between the City of San Diego, the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) and San Diego Coastkeeper a local environmental organization. These partners have succeeded in meeting a common goal: enhancement of existing science curricula to better address pressing environmental issues related to local watersheds.


Beginning with an innovative lesson plan for fifth graders, Project Swell has grown to encompass curricula for second, fourth and sixth grade classrooms as well. Additional lesson plans geared toward the interests and learning style of kindergarten-aged students and other lessons for seventh-graders will soon be unveiled. The success of Project Swell has allowed the program to expand into fifth and sixth grade classrooms in the Oceanside Unified School District.

Curricula Highlights

Second Grade: Pebbles, Sand, and Silt- The second grade curriculum, Pebbles, Sand, and Silt, was rolled out to 10,222 students in spring 2008 with professional development occurring in the summer and fall of 2008.

Fourth Grade: Ecosystems- The fourth grade Ecosystems kit was integrated in the fall of 2007 to approximately 10,661 students.

Fifth Grade: Water- Project SWELL's first unit was issued to correspond with the fifth grade Water kit used by the SDUSD. The fifth grade unit reaches approximately 10,668 students each year.

Sixth Grade: Landforms- The sixth grade curriculum, Landforms kit, was completed and began circulating to approximately 10,019 students in the spring of 2006.

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