The Water Quality Project Pathway will take students on an adventure to explore a stream in the schoolyard or community and determine whether it is healthy. After observing and describing the phenomenon of polluted water, students will ask questions and join a team with similar interests and curiosities. Each team will decide what data to collect and why, conduct tests, analyze results and make sense of their findings. Then they will identify a problem related to the water quality of their stream.
In light of this problem, each team will choose relevant issues to explore, case studies to consider, models to engineer, and possible solutions to evaluate. Then they will brainstorm project ideas and develop a plan to improve water quality.
After the teams pitch their project plans in a shark tank-style session, the class will decide on a project to undertake together. Then they will refine the plan, carry out a project in the real world, measure outcomes, reflect on whether it made a difference, and teach an authentic audience about what they learned. Finally, students will return to their initial explanations of the phenomenon and revise them for accuracy.
Specific steps along the Pathway are shown in the Flow Chart below. Note that the chart reads as a series of columns from left to right. And across the top are bars that show how the GREAT Pathway framework correlates to the 5-E format, the GRC format, and the driving question approach.