STEP 1: Become or Consult an Expert
Research the creek and its place in the watershed; or on a major pollutant affecting the creek; or consult an expert to find answers to your questions. CHOOSE ONE WAY to increase your knowledge of the creek and its water quality.
STEP 2: Cultivate Empathy
Imagine seeing the world through the eyes of a person or organism directly affected by your creek's water quality problem(s). CHOOSE ONE WAY to learn more about how water quality affects organisms that live in the creek or surrounding area, or people who live nearby or downstream.
STEP 3: Engineer a solution to a water quality problem
First, decide which of the following issues is most relevant to the creek you tested: groundwater contamination; filtration of polluted water; or erosion of streambanks. CHOOSE ONE WAY to investigate water quality by making a model, observing how water and soil interact, and engineering a solution to a problem.
STEP 4: Examine a case study on water quality
Students will work in teams to determine the source of a water quality problem in a hypothetical village. Read the scenario and review the map. Develop a hypothesis about the source of the water quality problem. Determine where you would drill additional wells to obtain data that could prove or disprove your hypothesis. The teacher can provide data for new well locations based on your team's requests.
STEP 5: Plan and carry out an Experiment about water quality
Design an experiment that is a fair test of your hypothesis about some aspect of water quality. The experiment should include control and experimental components and multiple trials to ensure validity. Explain your hypothesis this way: If I change something (this is the independent variable) then I predict that another thing will happen (the dependent variable).
I gained Empathy for an organism or people affected by water quality.
I designed and prototyped an Engineering solution to a water quality problem.
I Examined a case study to further explore water quality.
I conducted an Experiment to investigate a question about water quality.