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About: What is Connecticut River Connections?

Connecticut River Connections is the opportunity for students in Grades 6-8 to come together and study the marine and aquatic ecosystems of the Connecticut River. This valuable and shared natural resource provides the framework to introduce students to scientific inquiry while they are learning about the diversity of students from other districts. Previously funded by CSDE since 2003, Connecticut River Connections is a very successful program that has been highly regarded by teachers and students from participating school districts. 

During Connecticut River Connections, students from different towns and different cultures work together during and share the new experiences inherent in a first encounter with the marine environment. Students work in small research teams of 2-3 to conduct experiments in the classroom, in the laboratory, on the shore, and aboard the EnviroLab research vessel. Our hands-on, inquiry-based programs are carefully designed to align with middle school teaching standards, including the Next Generation Science Standards. Students will collect, handle, and study a wide variety of marine and aquatic organisms, study the behavior of eagles and seals in their natural habitats, and use sophisticated oceanographic technology to measure water quality in the Connecticut River. Along the way, they will also learn about each other and practice the critical thinking and communication skills necessary for success in high school and beyond.

While exploring their shared watershed, students learn that the whole picture can only be seen by integrating information collected by different groups. They also learn the importance of teamwork, and an appreciation for the different skills and strengths each member brings to the team. Through the program they learn that tolerance, understanding, and cooperation are necessary for the group to successfully complete its tasks. 


2022 - 2023 Program Partners

Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School
Beman Middle School
Brownstone Intermediate School
Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli Gifted and Talented Academy

East Hampton Middle School
E.B. Kennelly School
Environmental Sciences Magnet at Mary Hooker
Frank Ward Strong Middle School
Hebron Elementary School


For Students

Interested in Marine Science?

​Resources Discussed in Class

  • Premade Kahoot

  • Study Tools

Student Work Examples


For Parents

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