Students learn how to use and graph real-world stream gage data to create event and annual hydrographs and calculate flood frequency statistics. Using an Excel spreadsheet of real-world event, annual and peak streamflow data, they manipulate the data (converting units, sorting, ranking, plotting), solve problems using equations, and calculate return periods and probabilities. Prompted by worksheet questions, they analyze the runoff data as engineers would. Students learn how hydrographs help engineers make decisions and recommendations to community stakeholders concerning water resources and flooding.
Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities. They learn about the four vertical zones that make up a typical rain garden with the purpose to cultivate natural infiltration of stormwater. Student groups create personal rain gardens planted with native species that can be installed on the school campus, within the surrounding community, or at students' homes to provide a green infrastructure and low-impact development technology solution for areas with poor drainage that often flood during storm events.
The suburban city of Mount Rainier, Maryland, is doing its part to improve the water quality of a polluted river in its region: residents and organizations are using green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff.
Students use everyday building materials sand, pea gravel, cement and water to create and test pervious pavement. They learn what materials make up a traditional, impervious concrete mix and how pervious pavement mixes differ. Groups are challenged to create their own pervious pavement mixes, experimenting with material ratios to evaluate how infiltration rates change with different mix combinations.
For students that have already been introduced to the water cycle this lesson is intended as a logical follow-up. Students will learn about human impacts on the water cycle that create a pathway for pollutants beginning with urban development and joining the natural water cycle as surface runoff. The extent of surface runoff in an area depends on the permeability of the materials in the ground. Permeability is the degree to which water or other liquids are able to flow through a material. Different substances such as soil, gravel, sand, and asphalt have varying levels of permeability. In this lesson, along with the associated activities, students will learn about permeability and compare the permeability of several different materials for the purpose of engineering landscape drainage systems.
Changing conditions spur a utility in Washington, D.C., to consider and address its future climate vulnerabilitie
In this lesson, students will explore the causes of water pollution and its effects on the environment through the use of models and scientific investigation. In the accompanying activities, they will investigate filtration and aeration processes as they are used for removing pollutants from water. Lastly, they will learn about the role of engineers in water treatment systems.
This problem- based learning lesson looks at the increase of stormwater runoff due to effects of humans continuing to develop more and more of the landscape by building roads, streets, sidewalks, factories, etc. Students will analyze the benefits of using green infrastructure to reduce the amount of runoff in their community and increase biodiversity. Each lab group will play the role of a resident in a community. Their goal is to use the engineering design process to create a model showing how they will decrease stormwater runoff and increase biodiversity. The lesson ends with each lab group presenting their green infrastructure plan to a board. Please note that this lesson focuses specifically on the City of Lancaster in PA, however, documents can be modified depending your specific location.
These exercises are designed to guide a student to an understanding of how rainfall and storm events result in runoff over the surface of the earth. Runoff is influenced by the nature of the surface of the earth. Streamflow is particularly influenced by urbanization-the paving over of permeable surfaces with impermeable ones. In light of this, students are encouraged to think about design elements that incorporate more permeable surfaces into their own environments, including their school parking lots and neighborhoods.
The water cycle game helps you learn how water molecules move through various places including rivers, the ocean, the earth’s surface, the atmosphere and clouds. Actions such as evaporation, runoff, condensation, precipitation, soil absorption and ground water expansion move water from one zone to another.
Students learn about the water cycle and its key components. First, they learn about the concept of a watershed and why it is important in the context of engineering hydrology. Then they learn how we can use the theory of conservation of mass to estimate the amount of water that enters a watershed (precipitation, groundwater flowing in) and exits a watershed (evaporation, runoff, groundwater out). Finally, students learn about runoff and how we visualize runoff in the form of hydrographs.
Permeability is the degree to which water or other liquids are able to flow through a material. Different substances such as soil, gravel, sand and asphalt have varying levels of permeability. In this activity, students explore different levels of permeability and compare the permeabilities of several different materials. They also are introduced to the basic concepts of building design, landscape architecture and environmental pollutant transport. As an extension, they discuss the importance of correct drainage and urban design issues in sensitive environments such as coastal areas.