One of the luxuries we have at the Science School is being within walking distance of a protected wetlands area called the Weaselhead Natural Environment Park. Being so close allows our teachers and students to make us of the park for recreation, as well as scientific and environmental education.
The goals of the project are to:
- Have students experience the collection and analysis of data
- Understand the role of wetlands in cleaning our water supply
- Understand the impact that humans have on the quality of our water
- Understand and explain some of the properties that constitute Water Quality
1. Assign “expert groups” for the five properties (not temperature). In these groups students will become experts in a particular property of Water Quality (WI). In these groups students will:
- gather background research on specific water property (pH, turbidity, etc)
- build a short presentation/podcast and one-page handout to teach other students on their water property:
- define and explain the property
- what factors cause a change in this property?
- what is the safe range of the property?
- what impacts do changes in property have on the ecosystem/wildlife?
- why this probe? What does this instrument show us?
- What data does the probe provide us with?
- short demonstration on how to collect data using the probe
2. The teacher will build a basic model wetland to explain basic elements of wetland. The teacher will also create a concoction of ‘dirty water’ which will e run through the model wetland. The student expert groups will test water before and after, using their particular WQ property. Student will then be asked to graph (bar graph) the results, comparing the properties of the water before and after the cleaning process.
3. (Field Trip to the Weaselhead) Jigsaw groups will collect samples at their 5 pre-determined sites throughout the Weaselhead. (A, B, C, D, E) At their site, students will collect GPS UTM, Water Temperature and a large sample of water for specialized tests back at the school. (1-2L). Students will also gather observations and pictures form the location.
4. (In Lab) Each Expert group will gather together again to test their sample (Multiple Data X5, site Labeled) and analyze the data. Students in the expert groups should help each other to make sense of the data. Each student in each expert groups needs to be ready to go back to their jigsaw group and explain their findings.
- image location on Google Earth
- images taken from field trip
- overview and explanation of data findings
- key assumptions about data
- final WQI number
- questions that still remain about site
7. Share DATA with Grade 7 students doing an overall study of the health of the Weaselhead Ecological Environment
Possible other ideas:
Give five data charts (without final calculations) to all students and have them rank order the sites in order of water quality.
Summative Assessment: Students should be able to identify the differences between the different water samples, and explain what the differences in numbers mean for the quality of the water.