Book Your spring 2024 School Science Float Now!

RiverWatch Science Floats - Your Classroom On The River!



The RiverWatch Institute of Alberta delivers science education and environmental awareness experiences along Alberta’s rivers and watershed systems. Through our professional river guides, float trips, stewardship activities, and water monitoring equipment, participants learn about the science and health of our waterways. By becoming watershed knowledgeable, Albertans of all walks of life will better understand, enjoy and care for our environment.” – Jay Ball, Executive Director.



  • Fall 2024 booking requests ARE NOW OPEN.




  • The deadline to request a Fall 2024 School Science Float is Friday, June 28, 2024 (once submitted, your class/student numbers can be adjusted after the summer break.)
  • After teachers return from the summer, final confirmation of fall float dates will begin in late August.
  • New for 2024, our raft capacity is now 16 rafters total (including teacher/adult). This is to ensure we stay within our refined safety and insurance requirements.
  • Questions? Please email us –



RiverWatch grants school science float requests on a first-come, first-served notice until the program is full. Priority is given to:

  • Schools re-scheduled (with confirmation from the booking team) from the previous float season due to weather, air quality, or high-water cancellations. This does NOT include waitlisted schools.
  • New bookings are based on a first-come, first-served basis (based on form timestamp.)
  • Once a date opens, we will contact you, and you can confirm your final dates with our booking team. Pricing details will be shared at that time.
  • Final confirmation of fall float dates will begin in late August/early September.



We believe the best way to study a river is by taking your science classes on a float trip aboard our professionally guided large rafts, fully equipped as floating laboratories! Our science education programs align DIRECTLY with the Alberta provincial curriculum and have been a go-to resource for Alberta secondary science classes since 1995. Our hands-on and experiential science float programming is offered in the fall from early September to the end of October and again in the spring (late April to mid-June) once the ice is off the river.

With a laser focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), students explore their local river ecosystem aboard rafts equipped as mobile water quality laboratories. A day of guided rafting takes the student classroom into the real natural world to experience an interesting mix of ecology, wildlife, history, geology, engineering, technology, industry, water quality monitoring and data collection. Our programs showcase science in ways students have never seen before, creating an experience they’ll never forget, INCLUDING A TOUR OF LOCAL WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANTS! Over the years, more than 150,000 students have adventured out with us to become young scientists for the day. 



All RiverWatch guides are highly trained and possess a minimum Class 1 PROAOA certification to meet Transport Canada Commercial Rafting Standards. All our river guides complete an intense week of training involving rafting, emergency response, health and safety, bus driving, equipment maintenance, water quality monitoring, and local/natural history interpretation. To work for RiverWatch Guides must possess Standard First Aid certification and/or may also have Wilderness First Aid, National Lifeguard Society, Swift Water Rescue or Emergency Medical Responder training. The result is an experienced group of certified and professional river guides ready to provide a safe, engaging and fully immersive rafting experience. Your RiverWatch raft guide will help students gain new insights and appreciation for our rivers’ history, culture, bio-diversity and stewardship. Everyone will finish the day more connected to nature and the river!



Teachers recognize RiverWatch’s exceptional value. The quotes below come from discussions and feedback highlighting the impactful and transformative experiences RiverWatch provides. These reflections from educators underscore the program’s success in not just meeting but surpassing educational expectations, fostering a deeper connection and understanding of our natural world among students.

  • “The RiverWatch experience was exceptional! It was a journey that transformed our usual classroom setting into a laboratory.”
  • “The level of engagement and enthusiasm from the students was palpable. It’s one thing to teach concepts; it’s another to see them come to life right before your eyes.”
  • The guides were not just guides; they were bridges connecting classroom theory to real-world practice. They offered our students a rare opportunity to apply classroom lessons to tangible, real-life scenarios.”
  • “The practical application of knowledge is invaluable and has significantly deepened my students’ understanding and appreciation of the subjects.”
  • “This trip isn’t just a field day; it’s a catalyst for excitement within the curriculum. Seeing the students engage deeply with the material in a real-world context has underscored the immense value of experiential learning.”
  • “Very valuable; it’s as if the river itself breathes life into the curriculum.”
  • “The efficiency and effectiveness of this program are unparalleled. It’s not just a time-saver; it’s a deep dive into learning that transforms days of classroom time into hours of immersive, hands-on experience.”
  • “The RiverWatch approach to teaching has enriched my curriculum and, more importantly, my students’ understanding.”
  • “The guides were phenomenal – their expertise and ability to connect with the students were evident from the start. They were adept at sparking scientific and general discussions, making every moment on the river teachable.”
  • “The guide engagement with the students ignited a dialogue that bridged water, science, culture and so much more.”


For more detailed information on this award-winning program, please click one of the links below.

Thank you to our school science float sponsors EPCOR, The City of Calgary, Nova, and our other partners listed below for making these experiences possible for students and local schools!


Questions? Email us –