2023 H2O Outdoors Impact Report


H2O Outdoors 2023

Empowering the Next Generation of Water Stewards

Keystone Science School recently hosted its annual water education program for high schoolers, H2O Outdoors, from November 1-3, 2023. H2O Outdoors is a standards-based, educational program available to all Colorado high school students. Over the course of three days, students participate in a stream survey, expert panel, and town hall meeting to gain a broad understanding of the human and environmental complexities of water management in Colorado and, on a wider scale, the western United States.

Students learned about Colorado’s important role as the headwaters state for a large portion of the Colorado River Basin. They gained an understanding of water rights issues ranging from prior appropriation laws to the Colorado River Compact.

Day 1: Expert panel
Renowned experts formed an expert panel, providing invaluable insights into the array of careers within water management. Students had the opportunity to interact with and learn from seasoned professionals actively shaping the future of water policy. To gain a sense of scale surrounding western water issues, students visited the Continental Divide to discuss human impact on watersheds and the distribution of water in Colorado relative to its population.

Day 2: Stream Survey
On the second day the group did experiential learning through a hands-on stream survey. Participants conducted chemical tests and biology surveys around local Summit County water sources, gaining a practical understanding of how to assess and monitor water quality in real-world settings.

Day 3: Town Hall
Students, representing different stakeholders, engaged in lively discussions in our simulated Town Hall activity, where they practiced reaching a consensus on environmental issues and collaboratively formulating policy recommendations.



  1. Explain the concept of a watershed and identify major watersheds in the US, Colorado, and Summit County.
  2. Understand water supply and demand issues in Colorado and the Colorado River Watershed.
  3. Explain prior appropriation and the nature of a water right in Colorado.
  4. Recognize the importance of limited freshwater resources.
  5. Analyze and interpret the perspectives of real-life stakeholders in Colorado water management through the lens of sustainability.
  6. Practice ‘solutions-oriented’ collaborative approaches to managing Colorado’s water resources.
  7. Collect field data relevant to water quantity and quality.

View Full Impact Report PDF

For further details on the impact of this program at Keystone Science School, please refer to the 2023 H2O Outdoors Impact Report linked below.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all the participants, experts, and stakeholders who contributed to the success of H2O Outdoors 2023. Your enthusiasm and commitment are driving forces in shaping a future where water is cherished, respected, and managed sustainably.

Keystone Science School extends heartfelt gratitude to its donors and partners whose generous funding makes Beyond the Classroom possible. Special thanks to program partners Denver Water and Aurora Water for their invaluable support and curriculum contributions.

Denver Water
Aurora Water