A Trip to the WaterWorks Education Center
About the WaterWorks
WaterWorks Education Center is a one-of-a-kind water destination designed to inspire citizens of all ages to conserve our drinking water resources and protect our environment.
Located near the shores of Lake Houston at the City of Houston’s Northeast Water Purification Plant, the WaterWorks’ mission is to promote water education, conservation and stewardship.
The Center offers visitors a unique environment for creative learning with interactive exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for students. The City of Houston Public Works & Engineering Department opened the WaterWorks Education Center in October 2010 as a public service. Free field trips and tours are available for all age groups, with advance reservation.
WaterWorks is located at 12121 N. Sam Houston Parkway E., Humble, Texas 77396.
Admission is free and by appointment only. Field trips are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., with the last appointment at 3:30 p.m. The Center is closed weekends and all City of Houston holidays. All other times are by special arrangement.
Tours are available for Kindergarten through 12th grade classes, home school groups and adult groups. Summer camps, after-school programs, scouting groups and others are also welcome.
Our science-based programs can help your students meet Texas Education Agency science and other multi-disciplinary educational requirements of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). All hands-on activities are aligned to the Texas Educations Agency’s TEKS.
We suggest a minimum of 15 persons per field trip visit. Due to space constraints, we can generally accommodate a maximum of 35 students at a time. Please call to discuss tours for larger groups.
The WaterWorks Education Center is ADA compliant. Please let us know if you have any special needs.
Our field trips consist of a combination of guided tours, self-guided visits, scavenger hunts and hands-on activities depending on the age and size of your group.
In order to make the most of your visit, please share the field trip Guidelines (below) with students and chaperones before your visit.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHEDULING A FIELD TRIP?
Advance reservations are required for all visitors since the Center is located at a drinking water treatment facility. Please fill out a reservation request form when booking your trip. Forms are required no matter the type or size of your group.
DOWNLOAD FORM HERE
Reservations are taken on a first-come, first-served basis. We strongly recommend scheduling your trip early in the school year to avoid missing out on your ideal dates.
Please note that an inquiry into date availability or a voice message does NOT constitute a reservation.
Our field trip activities require advanced planning and may vary depending on the number of students in your group. To help us better serve your group's needs, please call 832-395-3791 one to two business days prior to your field trip to provide an estimate of group attendance.
Click here to download a field trip form:
Please submit the registration form via one of the following:
Waterworks Education Center
Address: 12121 N. Sam Houston Parkway East
Humble, TX 77396
The WaterWorks' educators strive to provide an activity appropriate to your group's age, classroom studies or grade requirements. The WaterWorks reserves the right to change a theme when necessary.
The lessons are presented to students through hands-on activities, multi-media lessons, interactive discussions, or other multi-disciplinary learning methods. The format may vary according to age, group size and attentiveness of the group. Schools bringing groups on multiple days may not receive the same lesson.
Please select one of the following activity themes according to the age of the students, and indicate the selected theme on the Field Trip Reservation Request form:
Water Cycle (Cycle): Students will explore the movement of water above and on the surface of the Earth, the sun's energy, and gain a basic understanding of the water cycle and its importance to our world. Student level: All levels
Water Conservation (Conservation): Students will understand how to use and conserve water at home, at school and in the community. Activities will highlight how conservation affects our drinking water resources, water treatment demands and our future water needs and supplies. Student level: All levels
Water Quality/Pollution (Quality): Students will understand the difference between point and/or non-point source pollution, how pollutants affect our water supply and how each of us can protect the quality of our regional water resources and our quality of life. Students also learn to make informed choices in the conservation, disposal and recycling of other materials. Student level: All levels
Water Treatment and Distribution (Treatment): Students learn about each phase of the drinking water treatment process and understand how water is delivered to their homes and schools. Students will also learn the difference between storm water and wastewater. Student level: 6th grade and above
Watersheds and Wetlands (Watersheds): Students learn to identify and define a watershed and understand why they are important to our source water. Students will understand the characteristics and benefits of wetlands within a watershed. Groups wishing lessons solely based on wetlands should note this on their reservation forms. Student level: 6th grade and above
Please note: Hands-on activities are designed for school-aged students and are not typically provided to single visitors, adult groups or very small groups. Please call for availability if you have a special request for such activities.
After we receive your reservation request form, a confirmation letter will be mailed or emailed to you. If you do not receive a confirmation letter in a timely manner, please contact our staff at 832-395-3791 to confirm the reservation.
If you need to cancel your visit, please let us know as soon as possible by phone or email.
Field trips are still school, but in a different setting.
It’s wonderful to leave the classroom and visit a special place for a day as a class. Museum, zoos, historic sites, science centers, police and fire stations, sports arenas, parks - is there any place that a field trip can’t go?
The students are excited and often feel like the field trip is an extended recess playtime. A gentle reminder may be in order that, even though they are not in their familiar building, they are still in school.
One adult chaperone is required for every 10 students (under 18) to supervise safety and supervision. The field trip is designed to engage both students and adults in the program. ** All visitors ages 18 and older must present a PHOTO ID to the security guard at the plant entrance.
Age-appropriate younger siblings are welcome; however, additional chaperones may be advisable in addition to the ratio required above. We ask for your assistance and cooperation in making your field trip a worthwhile educational experience for your students while at the same time keeping them safe and under control. Please refrain from cell phone use, other than for photography purposes.
School-age student visits are scheduled in approximately 2 hour blocks. Pre-school student visits may be completed in one hour or less. Adults-only tours may run 60 to 90 minutes.
Please share the following rules and guidelines with your students and all of the adults attending the field trip. They are designed to assure a safe and enjoyable trip for everyone.
- Please make every effort to arrive on time.
- Students must be supervised at all times. Teachers and chaperones are responsible for maintaining the discipline necessary for proper behavior while visiting the facility.
- Chaperones will accompany students for the duration of the visit.
- No running or jumping is allowed. For the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, disruptive or unsafe behavior will not be permitted and may result in the entire group being asked to leave.
- NO backpacks, cell phone usage (except for photos), headphones, gum, or candy will be allowed inside the WaterWorks Education Center. Water fountains are available near the rest rooms.
- Please be considerate of the water treatment plant employees and other guests visiting the facility.
- For your own safety, do not climb on things and do not lean against walls or exhibits.
- Students may not leave the group at any time without being accompanied by a chaperone.
- Please use inside voices so as not to disrupt other visitors and employees.
- Please use only pencils in the WaterWorks.
- Feel free to touch the exhibits and take photographs.
- Laugh, learn, explore, have fun and ask a lot of questions.
Please do not bring sick children to our facility. Students that are nauseated or running a fever should not be brought into the building. In the case that a child becomes sick, please notify a staff member.
Field trip leaders and all drivers for the field trips should review the map and directions to the center prior to departure. The WaterWorks Education Center is not visible from the Beltway and most GPS will not provide accurate location or directions to our facility. If you get lost, please stop and call 832-395-3791 for directions. DOWNLOAD AND PRINT A MAP HERE.
DIRECTIONS TO THE WATERWORKS EDUCATION CENTER:
Waterworks is approximately 5 miles east of the intersection of I-59 North and the Sam Houston Parkway/Beltway 8 Tollway. The nearest traffic intersection to our site is the N. Sam Houston Parkway E. feeder road and Lockwood Road. As you approach the Lockwood intersection on the Beltway Feeder Road, look for the blue "WaterWorks Education Center" signs.
From downtown Houston and loop 610:
Take I-59 North (toward Cleveland). Follow the directions below from I-59 North/Beltway 8 interchange.
From the I-59 North/Beltway 8 Interchange:
At the I-59 North/Sam Houston Parkway (Beltway 8 Tollway) interchange, go east on the Sam Houston Parkway/Beltway 8. To avoid EZ Tag Tolls, take the first exit after the overpass -- MESA Road -- onto the Feeder Rd. If you stay on the tollway, EXIT at John Ralston/Lockwood exit. You must be on the feeder road at Lockwood.
Before reaching the Lockwood traffic signal on the feeder road, move into the right lane. About 50 yards AFTER the Lockwood traffic light (and before the next overpass), look for the large Green EXIT sign. Use this EXIT road to make a U-TURN under the Beltway/Feeder Rd. overpass.
After completing the U-turn, you will see a road that curves to the right. Turn right, cross the railroad tracks, and proceed to the WaterWorks Education Center at the Northeast Water Purification Plant.
** IMPORTANT: All Adults must present aPHOTO ID to the security guard at the plant entrance.
From Clear Lake, Channelview, and Pearland:
Travel north on the Sam Houston Parkway/Beltway 8 Tollway. (From I-10 East, drive about 11 mi. north). EXIT at West Lake Houston Parkway/Lockwood Rd. onto the Feeder Rd. (You will see Summerwood subdivision entrance and an HEB grocery).
You must be in the left lane of the Feeder Rd. at Lockwood Road to make a U-Turn. After completing the U-turn at Lockwood, look for the large green EXIT sign*** on the east-bound side of the freeway.
***About 50 yards east of the Lockwood traffic light, there is small blue WaterWorks Education Center sign and a large green EXIT sign. Follow this Exit to make another U-turn underneath the Beltway/Feeder Rd. overpass. After completing this U-turn, make a right turn, and proceed over the railroad tracks to the WaterWorks Education Center at the Northeast Water Purification Plant.
** IMPORTANT: All adults must provide a driver’s license/photo ID to the security guard at the plant entrance.
Please pull into the circle drive in front of the WaterWorks to unload and load your students. A staff member will greet you and direct you to a parking location.
We look forward to seeing you!
WaterWeek 2015 - A special opportunity for 3rd - 8th grade students
Monday, April 27 - Friday, May 1 from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm
The annual WaterWeek festival educates more than 1,800 students about the importance of protecting their water resources. This event is one of the most popular field trips in our region. Youth groups may attend one day of the festival to learn about our drinking water resources, water careers, and local environmental issues from water professionals and environmental educators.
WaterWeek, primarily designed for third through eighth grade students, is held 9:30 am – 1:00 pm at the WaterWorks Education Center in northeast Harris County.
Space is limited to 350 students per day and is quickly filled up early in the school year. Attendance is free and advance reservations are required. Please download a WaterWorks Education Center Field Trip Request Form to register for one day of WaterWeek.