Students learn about the differences between types of water (surface and ground), as well as the differences between streams, rivers and lakes. Then, they learn about dissolved organic matter (DOM), and the role it plays in identifying drinking water sources. Finally, students are introduced to conventional drinking water treatment processes.
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This lesson is for ABE students at a level D-E Reading level to practice identifying key points in video and text and analyzing the causes and effects of social issues, and identifying solutions to these problems. By watching two short videos and reading materials on the effects of lead exposure and on the specific drinking water crisis in Flint, MI, students will examine key issues, analyze the problem and its causes, identify approaches to solving this problem and ones like it in other locations, and apply this approach to other scenarios that are relevant to their immediate lives.
Students act as engineers contracted by NASA to create water filtration devices that clean visible particulates from teacher-prepared "dirty water." They learn about the worldwide need for potable water and gain appreciation for why water quality is an important issue for people on Earth as well as on the International Space Station. Working in groups, students experience the entire engineering design process, including a read-aloud book about the water cycle; a visiting water engineer presentation; their own online research about filter methods and designs; group brainstorming of designs (using ordinary household materials); filter construction and testing; redesign and retesting; lab book documentation of their notes, research, plans and results; and a summary poster presentation at a mini-engineering fair. Two design planning worksheets, a poster layout suggestion sheet and a grading rubric are provided.
This site teaches kids about the importance of safe drinking water through teaching and learning resources such as an activity on how to build your own aquifer, experiments on the water treatment process, and the drinking water art project.
In this unit, students explore the various roles of environmental engineers, including: environmental cleanup, water quality, groundwater resources, surface water and groundwater flow, water contamination, waste disposal and air pollution. Specifically, students learn about the factors that affect water quality and the conditions that enable different animals and plants to survive in their environments. Next, students learn about groundwater and how environmental engineers study groundwater to predict the distribution of surface pollution. Students also learn how water flows through the ground, what an aquifer is and what soil properties are used to predict groundwater flow. Additionally, students discover that the water they drink everyday comes from many different sources, including surface water and groundwater. They investigate possible scenarios of drinking water contamination and how contaminants can negatively affect the organisms that come in contact with them. Students learn about the three most common methods of waste disposal and how environmental engineers continue to develop technologies to dispose of trash. Lastly, students learn what causes air pollution and how to investigate the different pollutants that exist, such as toxic gases and particulate matter. Also, they investigate the technologies developed by engineers to reduce air pollution.
"This class is one of the core requirements for the Environmental Masters of Engineering program, in conjunction with 1.133 Masters of Engineering Concepts of Engineering Practice. It is designed to teach about environmental engineering through the use of case studies, computer software tools, and seminars from industrial experts. Case studies provide the basis for group projects as well as individual theses. Recent 1.782 projects include the MMR Superfund site on Cape Cod, appropriate wastewater treatment technology for Brazil and Honduras, point-of-use water treatment and safe storage procedures for Nepal and Ghana, Brownfields Development in Providence, RI, and water resource planning for the island of Cyprus and refugee settlements in Thailand. This class spans the entire academic year; students must register for the Fall and Spring terms."
Students experience firsthand one of the most common water treatment types in the industry today, flocculants. They learn how the amount of suspended solids in water is measured using the basic properties of matter and light. In addition, they learn about the types of solids that can be found in water and the reasons that some are easier to remove than others. Encompassing the concepts of force and motion, attraction and repulsion of charged particles, and properties of matter, during the associated activity students see scientific concepts they already understand through the eyes of engineers who apply them to the removal of solids from water via chemical flocculants.
Between 70 and 75% of the Earth's surface is covered with water and there exists still more water in the atmosphere and underground in aquifers. In this lesson, students learn about water bodies on the planet Earth and their various uses and qualities. They will learn about several ways that engineers are working to maintain and conserve water sources. They will also think about their role in water conservation.
In this activity, students will use a tutorial on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website to learn about how surface water is treated to make it safe to drink.
Student teams locate a contaminant spill in a hypothetical site by measuring the pH of soil samples. Then they predict the direction of groundwater flow using mathematical modeling. They also use the engineering design process to come up with alternative treatments for the contaminated water.
This lesson plan helps students understand the factors that affect water quality and the conditions that allow for different animals and plants to survive. Students will look at the effects of water quality on various water-related activities and describe water as an environmental, economic and social resource. The students will also learn how engineers use water quality information to make decisions about stream modifications.
Students learn about porosity and permeability and relate these concepts to groundwater flow. They use simple materials to conduct a porosity experiment and use the data to understand how environmental engineers decide on the placement and treatment of a drinking water well.
Students learn about the human water cycle, or how humans impact the water cycle by settling down in civilizations. Specifically, they learn how people obtain, use and dispose of water. Students also learn about shortages of treated, clean and safe water and learn about ways that engineers address this issue through water conservation and graywater recycling.
Learn about urban water services, focusing on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment. This course focuses on conventional technologies for drinking water treatment. Unit processes, involved in the treatment chain, are discussed as well as the physical, chemical and biological processes involved. The emphasis is on the effect of treatment on water quality and the dimensions of the unit processes in the treatment chain. After the course one should be able to recognise the process units, describe their function, and make basic calculations for a preliminary design of a drinking water treatment plant.
Students leach organic matter from soil to create a water sample with high dissolved organic matter content (DOM), and then make filters to see if the DOM can be removed. They experience the difficulties of removing DOM from water, and learn about other processes that might make DOM removal more effective.
Students learn about the techniques engineers have developed for changing ocean water into drinking water, including thermal and membrane desalination. They begin by reviewing the components of the natural water cycle. They see how filters, evaporation and/or condensation can be components of engineering desalination processes. They learn how processes can be viewed as systems, with unique objects, inputs, components and outputs, and sketch their own system diagrams to describe their own desalination plant designs.
In this activity, students will learn how water can be polluted by algal blooms. They will grow algae with different concentrations of fertilizer or nutrients and analyze their results as environmental engineers working to protect a local water resource.
Students experience the steps of the engineering design process as they design solutions for a real-world problem that could affect their health. After a quick review of the treatment processes that municipal water goes through before it comes from the tap, they learn about the still-present measurable contamination of drinking water due to anthropogenic (human-made) chemicals. Substances such as prescription medication, pesticides and hormones are detected in the drinking water supplies of American and European metropolitan cities. Using chlorine as a proxy for estrogen and other drugs found in water, student groups design and test prototype devices that remove the contamination as efficiently and effectively as possible. They use plastic tubing and assorted materials such as activated carbon, cotton balls, felt and cloth to create filters with the capability to regulate water flow to optimize the cleaning effect. They use water quality test strips to assess their success and redesign for improvement. They conclude by writing comprehensive summary design reports.
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- Provider Set:
- TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
- Inquiry-Based Bioengineering Research and Design Experiences for Middle-School Teachers RET Program, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
- Timothy S. Vaillancourt, Terri Camesano, Kristen Billiar, Jeanne Hubelbank
Pumps are used to get drinking water to our houses every day! And in disaster situations, pumps are essential to keep flood water out. In this hands-on activity, student groups design, build, test and improve devices to pump water as if they were engineers helping a rural village meet their drinking water supply. Students keep track of their materials costs, and calculate power and cost efficiencies of the prototype pumps. They also learn about different types of pumps, how they work and useful applications.
This unit approaches research as an iterative inquiry process for deepening understanding of a topic in order to develop an evidence-based perspective. The unit framework, handouts, and tools are designed to work with any topic across all disciplines. A topic resource repository about water is also provided to help teachers model the process with a rich selection of sources, as well as model tools and inquiry questions.