-Advertisement-
  About AE   About NHM   Contact Us   Terms of Use   Copyright Info   Privacy Policy   Advertising Policies   Site Map
   
Custom Search of AE Site
spacer spacer
WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE?
Judy Williams

"Water, water everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink."

--The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

UNIT CONCEPT:
All organisms need a healthy environment to grow and prosper. Maintaining water quality is essential if all organisms are to have a good life.

PURPOSE OF UNIT:

To give students an opportunity to:
  • experience environmental science in their everyday lives.
  • integrate biological science, physical science, and vocational agriculture process skills as they work together on a community project of water testing.
  • increase content knowledge: sources of surface and ground water in relation to the water cycle, conditions that affect water quality, major pollutants present, where pollutants come from, and what risks they pose to living organisms.

STUDENT OBJECTIVES: When finished, the student will be able to:

Content:
  • distinguish between surface water and ground water.
  • distinguish between water quality and water quantity.
  • explain how water can become polluted as it moves through the water cycle.
  • distinguish between point-source and nonpoint-source pollution.
  • list categories of water pollutants.
  • identify sources of water pollution.
  • list at least 5 conditions that have the potential to severely affect the water quality of any freshwater source and explain each one's role of importance.
  • predict the potential impact of different types of water pollution on the quality of water.
  • explain the purpose for testing water quality in aquaculture system.

Process:
  • test and measure the water quality of local water sources.
  • compare and contrast the water quality results using different testing methods.
  • demonstrate science process skills of collecting and analyzing data and presenting conclusions for critical analysis.

LENGTH OF INSTRUCTIONAL UNIT:
8 days for unit and additional time for extension activities.

PARTS of UNIT:
    Part 1: Water cycle,water sources, freshwater pollution
    Part 2: Water quality and testing protocol
    Part 3: Water quality and aquaculture--raising fish

ACTIVITIES/INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES:

  • Biology class--Team teaching lecture: Provide introductive background information on the water cycle, water sources, and water quality to biology and agricultural students by biology and chemistry teachers.

  • Biology class--Team teaching lecture: Provide introductive background information on pollutants that affect water quality and testing protocol for various pollutants (pH, total hardness, temperature, alkalinity, ammonia, phosphate, carbon dioxide, chloride, and nitrite) to biology and agricultural students by biology and chemistry teachers.

  • Vocational Agriculture class--Discuss/identify possible sources of freshwater pollution in our rural community.

  • Vocational Agriculture class--Collect samples of freshwater sources including water from all aquaculture tanks to be used in Biology Lab on Day 4.

  • Biology class--Hands-on Lab Activity (cooperative teams): Students test pH (3 different methods), temperature, phosphate, alkalinity, ammonia (2 different tests), nitrites, chloride, carbon dioxide, and total hardness of water samples gathered from local sources using agricultural students as team leaders.

  • Biology class--Analyze Data: Students compare results of all tests noting sources of samples and contrasting results to those of aquaculture tanks.
  • Vocational Agriculture class--Develop Biology Classroom Presentation: Students develop Aquaculture Water Quality lecture and make plans for aquaculture tour.

  • Biology class--Vocational Agriculture Students' Lecture: Provide aquaculture water quality background information for raising fish to biology students.

  • Biology class--Tour: Biology students tour the aquiculture project room to view fish raising facilities with tours lead by vocational agricultural students.

WATER QUALITY PROJECT TIME LINE

Day 1:

Biology class--Team Lecture: Introduce background information:
Physical science teacher--water cycle/sources of water
Biology teacher--water quality/pollutants that affect water quality

Day 2:
Biology class--
Team Lecture: introduction information:
Biology teacher--finish information on pollutants/water quality
Physical science teacher--introduce water testing protocol
Vocational Agriculture class--Discuss/identify possible sources of freshwater samples.

Day 3:
Biology class--Teacher Demonstration: protocol for collecting/identifying water samples and protocol for water quality.
Physical science teacher--demonstrate protocols for collecting water samples and methods of testing:
--dissolved oxygen --turbidity
Biology teacher--introduce tests to be done on water samples and facilitate development of forms for record keeping of test results with students.

*All biology students are encouraged to collect samples of water to used in lab.
Vocational Agriculture class--Collect water samples from lakes, rivers, streams, etc. including sample from each aquaculture tank to be used in Biology Lab on Day 4 following protocol demonstrated in biology class. (This is being done to ensure that students have applied the skills, samples are available for lab activity, different sources of water are sampled, and that data is collected on aquaculture water.)

Day 4:
Biology Lab: Working in small cooperative teams, each team will do one of the tests on water samples using agriculture students as team leaders.
Vocational Agriculture class--Develop Biology Classroom Presentation: Students work to prepare Aquaculture Water Quality lecture.

Day 5:
Continuation of day 4.

Day 6:
Biology class--Analyze Data: Students compare results of all tests noting source of samples and contrasting results to those of aquaculture tanks.
Vocational Agriculture class--Con't of Days 4 and 5: Students finish preparations for Aquaculture Water Quality lecture and make plans for aquaculture tour.

Day 7:
Biology class--Vocational Ag.Students' Lecture: Provide aquaculture water quality background information for raising fish in tanks to biology students.
Tour: Biology students tour the aquiculture project room to view fish raising facilities with agriculture students as tour guides.

Day 8:
Biology class--Written test.

Day 9:
Biology class--Cooperative teams work on extension activities. (Time length determined by what extension activities are completed.)

STUDENT ASSESSMENT
*Biology--Written test--knowledge content and skill development.

*Biology--Performance Assessment using Process Skill Rubric--following protocol to test samples, recording data, analyzing data, and comparing/contrasting data on water quality of local water sources.

*Vocational Agriculture--Performance Assessment of lecture providing aquaculture water quality information for raising fish in tanks to biology students and providing information during tour of aquaculture project room to view fish raising facilities.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT YOUR LOCAL WATER? Each team is to choose one of the following activities to complete using the guidelines provided by the teacher.
  1. What is the source of the high school's water supply? First, find out if the water comes from a municipal water supply, a private water company, a private well, or some other source. Is this water treated for drinking? If so, where and how? Where does this water go after it is used in the school? Is it treated after leaving the school? If so, where and how? Is the water that is used in the school's kitchen from a different source than that used in the toilets of the bathroom? How much water did the high school use last year? How much did the school pay for water last year?

  2. Where does our city's water come from? What is its source? Investigate the method of water purification used in our city. Is the water filtered or chlorinated, or both? Is fluoride added to the water or has it ever been added in the past? Where is our community is the water treated? What happens to this water after it is used? Is it treated after it is used or only before? Where does it go when it leaves our community?

  3. How much water does our community use per household per year? Who determines what the water will cost the household? How is the cost of water determined? Who measures the amount of water used? Does drinking water cost more than water used for other purposes such as watering our yards? Who in our community is responsible to determine if the water is safe to consume? Do all households in our community use city water? Do any households have their own well supply instead of using city water? Who determines if water in these wells is safe to consume?

  4. What are potential sources of water pollution that may affect our local water supply directly. Are there any businesses that discharge solid or chemical wastes into any surface bodies of water? What about agricultural wastes since farmlands can be the source of runoff of pesticides and fertilizers? What about the old garbage dump south of town that is no longer in use?

  5. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has identified more than one thousand sources of contamination in drinking water. Public water companies must test at least thirty of these pollutants on a regular basis and monitor over thirty more. Is our local water supplier required to provide us with the amounts of each of these chemicals found in our water supply to show that these amounts comply with the EPA standards. How often is the city water tested? What is the most recent analysis of compounds and chemicals found in our city water? What happens if any of the chemical amounts don't comply with EPA standards? Do you suppose there are other chemicals that the EPA have not recognized yet?

WHAT IS YOUR DECISION? Each team is to choose one of the following activities to complete using the guidelines provided by the teacher.

  1. A significant source of water pollution is the solid and chemical wastes that are produced by industry and then dumped into the nearest body of water. Suppose you are on the local city council, and industrial developers seek to locate a factory near our water supply. What questions would you ask when the city council met with the developers? How would you use the answers and the data you have collected to justify a position for or against the location?

  2. Pollution can come from many sources including industrial, residential, agricultural, or recreational sources. Are there any of these sources of pollution in our area that can affect our local water supply? What can we do to raise public awareness about this issue?

  3. The sales of bottled water in this country have skyrocketed over the past decade. Should you be drinking bottled water? Check the labels on water bottles at the supermarket. Did you know that bottled water has less regulation than the public water supply and may even come from tap water someplace else? Did you know that although the label on a bottle of water may state that the water is purified, distilled, or is club soda, the water may still be tap water. Only spring water must actually come from a spring! Do you suppose all these "bottled waters" taste the same?

  4. Should people filter the water that comes into their homes or businesses? Should the water be filtered coming into our school? Some methods of home treatment include carbon filters, reverse osmosis, distillation, chlorination, and water softeners. Find out more about how these methods work and what contaminates they eliminate.

  5. We live in an area where people value having a beautiful green lawn. In areas of periodic drought, lawns require a great deal of water. Because we have sufficient rainfall, some people use abundant amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides to kill real or imagined pests, such as grubs and crabgrass. These chemicals seep into the groundwater. Should we allow people to continue using these chemicals? Are there alternative ways to get rid of the pests?

  6. Do you think water pollution has affected the recreational use of any waterways in our area-Hord Lake, Platte River, etc.? Reverse the question-Do you think recreational use has been the cause of any water pollution? What can we do in our everyday lives to reduce either of these problems?

GOING FURTHER: Water-Awareness
--Sponsor a water-awareness day for our community.
--Design a poster that can be displayed in one of our community's businesses.
--Design a brochure that can be distributed to the public.


REFERENCES
Boellstorff, Leslie, "Water Testing To Be Costly, Official Says." Omaha World Herald. Oct. 11, 1994.

Branca, Barbara. Exploring Environmental Issues. Glencoe, New York. , 1994.

Flanery, James, "Report Reignites Debate Over Herbicides in Water," Omaha World Herald, Oct. 19, 1994.

Johnson, George and Gary Brusca. Holt Biology Visualizing Life. Holt, Rinehart, Winston, 1994.

Hach's Fish Farmer's Water Quality Test Kit Manual, model FF-1A

Henion, T.L. "Water is OK, But Cass Keeps Purifier Going", Omaha World Herald. Oct. 13, 1994.

Kaskel, Hummer, Daniel. Biology: An Everyday Experience. Glencoe. 1992.

Koker, Mark. "Investigating Groundwater." Science Scope. May, 1991.

NE Department of Environmental Quality 1992 Report "Volunteer Lake Monitoring Network".

Simpson, J.T. Volunteer Lake Monitoring: A Methods Manual, Environmental Protection Agency, 1991.

Vandas, Steve. "Water Quality: Potential Sources of Pollution." Science Scope. Oct., 1994.

Vandas, Steve. "Investigating Water Quality." Science and Children. Sept., 1994.


View Activity Description


Activities-To-Go Index


Activities Exchange Index


 
Custom Search on the AE Site

 

-Advertisement-