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River Runner Visualization

Sam Learner, Unite States Geological Survey

In this visualization, users click to drop a raindrop anywhere in the contiguous United States and watch where it ends up. The visualization teaches users about the relationship between precipitation and freshwater in the US.

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Notes from our reviewers

The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials.

  • This visualization could be applicable to any watershed, water cycle, geography, water use, water sources, and distribution lessons. Note that this resource does not directly connect with climate and energy, though knowledge of the water cycle is a fundamental concept for understanding climate cycles. A facilitator could use this resource when teaching about flooding impacts of climate change, hydroelectric power, and/or mitigation and adaptation strategies. Teachers should determine an area they want their students to focus on, and facilitate follow-up questions to help students take away new knowledge from this visualization. Teachers should provide context and guiding questions for student use. From this visualization, educators may also be able to develop a jigsaw activity where students compare drainage patterns from their location of interest and why the patterns vary.