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Environmental Lending Station

Watershed nonpoint source model lending station image

Environmental Lending Station

Our environmental lending station allows educators to borrow materials that engage students in real-life Great Lakes-based education with hands-on learning. The EnviroScapes®, Sand & Gravel Simulator models, and H2O Q Kits (water quality backpacks) are available for lending to your classroom or organization.

The lending items can support educators by relating their hands-on water quality lessons and allowing students to see how contamination impacts groundwater, surface water, watersheds and the Great Lakes. Students will also learn how to prevent problems at the sources and become informed on how water can be kept safe and clean.

Check out a lending station today! 

Available lending station modules

3D EnviroScape® Watershed/Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS)

The EnviroScape® Watershed/NPS education model provides a hands-on, interactive demonstration of the sources and effects of water pollution - and allows you to demonstrate ways to prevent it. Easily demonstrate how storm water runoff carries pollutants through the watershed to a pond, lake, river, bay, or ocean - and the best management practices to prevent this type of pollution from occurring. The overall watershed/storm water concept is effectively communicated to all ages (children to adults)!

Key concepts: residential impacts, storm water and storm drains, forestry, transportation, recreation, agriculture, construction, industrial (factory, treatment plant), sources and prevention practices in demonstrated focus areas.

Borrow the Watershed/NPS EnviroScape® model

3D EnviroScape® Coastal Watershed

The EnviroScape® Coastal Watershed education model vividly demonstrates pollution sources and pollution prevention in a coastal area. Explore the 3D Coastal landscape with hands-on activities that bring to life impacts on wetlands, estuaries, oceans, beaches, barrier islands, groundwater, coral reefs, shellfish beds and more. Includes underground storage tanks, storm drains, septic system, effects of an oil spill, dredging a channel... and even a resort community handling its own waste. Model communicates to all ages (children to adults)!

Fill the ocean, harbor, estuary, marina and other waterways with water and rain over the different areas. Watch the flow of rainwater pick up pollutants - such as soil (cocoa) and chemicals (drink mixes), trash, and other contaminants - along the way.

Also demonstrates • Residential • A leaking underground storage tank contaminating groundwater • The difference between storm drains and a home that is connected to a septic system • How a resort community may handle their own waste • Effects of an oil spill • Dredging a channel

Borrow the Coastal Watershed EnviroScape® model

3D EnviroScape® Drinking Water and Wastewater

The 3D EnviroScape® Drinking Water & Wastewater model traces the path of the water we use in our communities. Participants are captivated by the hands-on demonstration as they draw real water from the river and to send to the water treatment plant for processing. Follow the clean water as it is delivered under the removable roadways for our residential and commercial uses. Follow the wastewater from the houses and commercial buildings to the wastewater treatment plant and see the treated water returned back into the river. Even a section on biosolids, septic tanks and storm water. Three individual demonstrations provided -- Drinking Water Sources & Treatment, Wastewater Treatment, and What Biosolids are and how they are being used or disposed. This teaching model communicates to all ages (children to adults)!

Also demonstrates • Residential • Septic system and rural water sources • Storm water discharged directly to a waterbody OR sent on to the wastewater treatment plant; and • Demonstration of a combined sewer overflow • Groundwater & more

Borrow the Drinking Water & Wastewater EnviroScape® model

3D EnviroScape® Ecological Restoration

The 3D Interactive EnviroScape® Ecological Restoration® allows you to explore the functions of various wetland types and discover the importance of wetlands to the environmental quality in our communities. At the end of this model, you'll be able to take a water sample visually experience the improvement in water quality.

Two demonstration styles are included in the guide, with the optional story-style demo, explore how wetlands and vegetation function in the natural environment, pollution and flooding after unplanned development, and how ecological restoration benefits the environment.  

This model allows you to: Demonstrate how wetland and floodplain management can improve the environment, experiment with restoring the environment to reduce the negative effects of unplanned development, demonstrate the process flooding on the floodplain, restore and construct wetlands to manage stormwater & reduce flooding and pollution. You’ll be able to experiment with unplanned development, demonstrate flooding and pollution, take a water sample and move to restoring, creating, and protecting wetlands right on the model. After restoration, you can take a water sample and let your students compare the results!

Borrow the Ecological Restoration EnviroScape® model

3D EnviroScape® Waste Management (Landfill & Recycling)

The 3D EnviroScape® Waste Management (Landfill & Recycling) model depicts proper waste management practices and how they are designed to prevent harm to the groundwater, surface water or air. Explore modern landfill design in contrast to old-style or illegal dumps. Hands-on recycling activities are included, such as:

  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle First activity - Can this be used again? Can this item be recycled? What is compostable? What could we use instead that will do less harm to our environment? This is further supported by a colorful Recycling activity allowing your audience to participate in determining what gets recycled and where certain trash should be placed.
  • How does a landfill function? - With the EnviroScape® Waste Management model you can simulate rain on the landfill and follow its path through the solid waste. Collect and recirculate leachate from the landfill back through the trash - or transport it from the landfill to a wastewater treatment plant. Close the landfill with a "cap" and show how it is designed for the rain to flow off the impermeable cover or "cap" to storm water retention areas.
  • Landfill comparison - Compare the modern landfill with a demonstration of an older style landfill "dump" of the past, monitoring the groundwater by near this landfill.

Key concepts: Conservation, groundwater, runoff, STEM education, water pollution, hazardous materials and waste, landfill, recycling, solid waste, underground storage tanks, materials management

Borrow the Waste Management EnviroScape® model

Groundwater Flow Simulator

Envision offers the most advanced visual simulators of groundwater flow available. Great for educators, students, watershed organizations, drinking water suppliers, geologists, engineers and other groups involved in training or educational outreach on groundwater issues. All of our simulators are constructed of high-quality acrylic and are intended for many years of use. Our simulators are designed to demonstrate a complete water cycle, by recycling the water via a pump mechanism through the simulator.

The simulator is a hands-on visual aid that takes difficult groundwater concepts and makes them understandable for all ages. The simulator is appropriate for grade schools, high schools and colleges as well as adult groups. It is an excellent resource for schools using any water education curriculum. Anyone with a general understanding of groundwater can give a presentation with the simulator. For schools, the instruction manual includes basic laboratory experiments to use with the simulator.

Borrow the Groundwater Flow Simulator model

H2O Q (Water Quality) Testing Backpack Kit

The H2O Q Testing Backpack Kit includes activities that cover many STEM NGSS categories and integrate categories outside of science to providing in-classroom, robust, and fully implementable program. Environmental science encompasses all STEM disciplines and presents a very real example right outside your classroom window. Experiencing the chemistry of this vast field can equip students with the problem-solving tools to work through the challenges their generation will face in the coming years. The analysis of key markers in the environment (phosphate, nitrate, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity) incorporates numerous chemistry concepts and materials.

Your classroom or organization participating in these community science measurements can save and share their results with the science community and the public. After exploring the chemistries involved in measuring the key water quality parameters and collecting data you can share your results with classrooms (and the public) across the Great Lakes region using the ArcGIS data map.

Conduct the experiment

  • Measure your local watershed water quality chemistry.
  • Use the Midland ACS kit to measure 6 key water quality parameters.


Contribute to the crowd

  • Outdoor classroom to do water chemistry.
  • Add your data to the crowd source data map
Borrow the H2O Q Testing Backpack Kit

Awesome Aquifer

The Awesome Aquifer Kit is a fun and educational groundwater kit developed by the Groundwater Foundation that includes everything you need to build an aquifer model. Instructions and activity supplies are included to walk you through learning all about groundwater. The kit is great for use in classrooms, at community events, at festivals or fairs, or any other educational setting. Both youth and adults love the hands-on nature of the activities! This kit also aligns with activities outlined in Lesson 1 of the MEECS Water Quality Unit.

This kit is available to be checked out individually or as a ‘classroom set’ of 5 models.

Borrow the Awesome Aquifer Kit

AirBeam Portable Air Quality Sensor

AirBeam is a palm-sized air quality instrument that measures hyperlocal concentrations of harmful microscopic particles in the air, known as particulate matter, as well as humidity and temperature. The AirBeam measures particulate matter with proven accuracy and when used in conjunction with the AirCasting platform helps community-based organizations, educators, academics, regulators, city managers, and community scientists map air pollution and organize for clean air.

These are the same sensors that EPA lends out through the Air Sensor Loan Program for Remote/Rural Locations in Michigan. This sensor makes a great place-based, hands-on companion to our MEECS air quality unit!

Borrow the AirBeam Portable Air Quality Sensor