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Environmental Detectives

Students explore real world environmental problems, conduct tests, collect data, and research top secret files to solve the mystery. Along the way they gain a deeper understanding of human impacts on the environment and how they can take action in the real-world to reduce these impacts.


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What is this program? SWEP leads a multi-day program that offers in-class lessons and a full-day field trip to the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) in Incline Village. Students become detectives, and grapple with complex, interdisciplinary scientific problems presented in "Mystery of the Dying Fish" a GEMS Environmental Detectives curriculum.

How does this program work? Students are bused to TERC where they break in to groups and rotate through various stations to conduct hands-on science experiments. Once all groups have completed the stations, they reconvene to discuss findings to determine the cause of the "Mystery of the Dying Fish".

Who can participate in this program? The program is designed for 8th grade students.

Where is this program offered? This program is offered at North Tahoe Middle School and Alder Creek Middle School.

For more information contact SWEP's Project Director, Ashley Phillips, at

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