Field Trips

Test the Waters - High School

Grade Level:
High School: Ninth Grade through Twelfth Grade
Common Core Standards:
9-10.RST.3, 9-10.RST.4, 9-10.RST.7, 9-10.RST.9, 11-12.RST.3, 11-12.RST.4, 11-12.RST.7, 11-12.RST.9
State Standards:
Massachusetts Science & Technology/Engineering
HS-LS2-1, HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-7. HS-ESS2-2, HS-ESS2-5, HS-ESS3-1, HS-ESS3-3 
Next Generation Science Standards
HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7

Students are invited to participate in a worldwide, citizen science initiative!

Students will participate in hands-on field research by collecting data on the water quality of the Saugus River. Students will collect water from the river and perform a series of tests to determine various factors, including pH, turbidity, dissolved oxygen saturation, etc.  

Park rangers will then guide students through discussions and activities to explore our human connection to water and what it means to be a citizen of the world.  


Grade levels: 9-12
Maximum group size: 25 students
Teachers & chaperones: 1 adult per 10 students
Duration: 1.5 hours


  • Students will understand how water chemistry data can help quantify the health of a watershed.  
  • Students will participate in real-world science in a National Park.  
  • Students will consider citizen science in the context of civic engagement.    


  • Students should have a basic understanding of what a watershed is, as well as water quality factors, including pH and turbidity. The park can provide relevant handouts and lesson plan suggestions on request.  
  • Before arriving at Saugus Iron Works, students should break up into small groups of 2-3 students (10 groups max). In their groups, students should visit EarthEcho International's Water Challenge website and create an account (1 per group). This is where they will log water quality data.  

Post-visit activity 

In their groups, students log onto their Water Challenge accounts to upload water and photos.  

Optional: Students share photos and stories from water quality monitoring on social media by tagging @EarthEcho and @SaugusIronWorks (Instagram) or @SaugusIronNPS (Facebook).  

Extend your visit 

Classes can take a self-guided tour of the iron works on a mobile device using the NPS App. The full tour takes about an hour to complete and consists of eight audio stops. 
Classes may choose to visit the museum, Nature Trail, or iron works structures. See Park Hours for more information. 


Email us to schedule a program. Please include information from "Details" section above. Requests must be submitted at least two weeks in advance. 

Last updated: February 1, 2024