NGRREC Announces ‘Kids on The River’ Film Premiere

Article by: Jen Young, NGRREC/L&C Marketing and PR,


EAST ALTON – Join the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRRECsm) for the first screening of “Kids on the River” a film showcasing high school students exploring the Mississippi River watershed.

This event is taking place from 6 - 8 p.m. on Oct. 18, at the NGRREC Field Station, 1 Confluence Way, East Alton Illinois. Following the screening, there will be a panel discussing how different community members view and experience the river.

“What I enjoyed most about Waterschool was how broad the exploration was,” TRIO student Xyla Nixon said. “We not only got to learn facts about the Mississippi River, but also about the connections it has to surrounding organisms. My experience made me realize the Mississippi River is something that gives and also sustains life and is not only a body of water I happen to pass by.”

In June, 15 high school students from the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville East St. Louis Higher Education Center’s TRIO Upward Bound program participated in the Swarovski Waterschool – Mississippi River program at NGRREC. The students documented their experience through video, and it is captured in the final film.

“This was the first week of the TRIO summer program and it was a great way to increase engagement and get the students interested in science,” said Erica Doerr, former TRIO STEM instructor and current NGRREC environmental educator. “For some of the students this was their first time seeing the Mississippi River.”

Students spent time on the water learning to paddleboard and canoe in the Ellis Bay, collected water samples to analyze the health of the river, identified macroinvertebrates living in a local stream with the Illinois RiverWatch program and learned about the water cycle. They also focused on community service projects including watering trees around the community and picking up trash using the marine debris tracker app.

“The purpose of this film is really to highlight the power of place-based education and the benefits of exploring the natural world around us,” Director of Environmental Education Sarah Fisher said. “Event guests will have the opportunity to hear from students and educators about how this experience has impacted their lives.”

To attend this free premiere event, register at .

This film was produced by Route 3 Films and funded by the Let’s Talk About Water grant through CUAHSI the (Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.) from funding provided by the National Science Foundation.

To learn more about this event, contact Sarah Fisher at or (618) 468-2783.

Visit to learn more about the Swarovski Waterschool – Mississippi River program or contact Jen Mandeville at or (618) 468-2790.

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC ℠ )

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities.

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