Primary Hydrology

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All About Water!
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Jessica Ebert
Marissa H. Forbes
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Are Dams Forever?
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Students learn that dams do not last forever. Similar to other human-made structures, such as roads and bridges, dams require regular maintenance and have a finite lifespan. Many dams built during the 1930-70s, an era of intensive dam construction, have an expected life of 50-100 years. Due to inadequate maintenance and/or for environmental reasons, some of these dams will fail or be removed in the next 50 years. The engineers with Splash Engineering have an ethical obligation to remind Thirsty County of the maintenance and lifespan concerns associated with its dam.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Jeff Lyng
Kristin Field
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Can You Catch the Water?
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Students construct three-dimensional models of water catchment basins using everyday objects to form hills, mountains, valleys and water sources. They experiment to see where rain travels and collects, and survey water pathways to see how they can be altered by natural and human activities. Students discuss how engineers design structures that impact water collection, as well as systems that clean and distribute water.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Janet Yowell
Jay Shah
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
A Case of Innovation
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Students learn about power generation using river currents. A white paper is a focused analysis often used to describe how a technology solves a problem. In this literacy activity, students write a simplified version of a white paper on an alternative electrical power generation technology. In the process, they develop their critical thinking skills and become aware of the challenge and promise of technological innovation that engineers help to make possible. This activity is geared towards fifth grade and older students and computer capabilities are required. Some portions of the activity may be appropriate with younger students. CAPTION: Upper Left: Trey Taylor, President of Verdant Power, talks about green power with a New York City sixth-grade class. Lower Left: Verdant Power logo. Center: Verdant Power's turbine evaluation vessel in New York's East River. In the background is a conventional power plant. Upper Right: The propeller-like turbine can be raised and lowered from the platform of the turbine evaluation vessel. Lower Right: Near the East River, Mr. Taylor explains to the class how water currents can generate electric power.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Cindy Coker
Denise W. Carlson
Jane Evenson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Trey Taylor
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Dam Forces
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Students learn how the force of water helps determine the size and shape of dams. They use clay to build models of four types of dams, and observe the force of the water against each type. They conclude by deciding which type of dam they, as Splash Engineering engineers, will design for Thirsty County.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Kristin Field
Lauren Cooper
Megan Podlogar
Sara Born
Timothy M. Dittrich
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Dam Impacts
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While the creation of a dam provides many benefits, it can have negative impacts on local ecosystems. Students learn about the major environmental impacts of dams and the engineering solutions used to address them.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Kristin Field
Michael Bendewald
Sara Born
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Dams
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Through eight lessons, students are introduced to many facets of dams, including their basic components, the common types (all designed to resist strong forces), their primary benefits (electricity generation, water supply, flood control, irrigation, recreation), and their importance (historically, currently and globally). Through an introduction to kinetic and potential energy, students come to understand how dams generate electricity. They learn about the structure, function and purpose of locks, which involves an introduction to Pascal's law, water pressure and gravity. Other lessons introduce students to common environmental impacts of dams and the engineering approaches to address them. They learn about the life cycle of salmon and the many engineered dam structures that aid in their river passage, as they think of their own methods and devices that could help fish migrate past dams. Students learn how dams and reservoirs become part of the Earth's hydrologic cycle, focusing on the role of evaporation. To conclude, students learn that dams do not last forever; they require ongoing maintenance, occasionally fail or succumb to "old age," or are no longer needed, and are sometimes removed. Through associated hands-on activities, students track their personal water usage; use clay and plastic containers to model and test four types of dam structures; use paper cups and water to learn about water pressure and Pascal's Law; explore kinetic energy by creating their own experimental waterwheel from two-liter plastic bottles; collect and count a stream's insects to gauge its health; play an animated PowerPoint game to quiz their understanding of the salmon life cycle and fish ladders; run a weeklong experiment to measure water evaporation and graph their data; and research eight dams to find out and compare their original purposes, current status, reservoir capacity and lifespan. Woven throughout the unit is a continuing hypothetical scenario in which students act as consulting engineers with a Splash Engineering firm, assisting Thirsty County in designing a dam for Birdseye River.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Erosion in Rivers
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Students learn about water erosion through an experimental process in which small-scale buildings are placed along a simulated riverbank to experience a range of flooding conditions. They learn how soil conditions are important to the stability or failure of civil engineering projects and how a river's turns and bends (curvature, sinuosity) make a difference in the likelihood of erosion. They make model buildings either with a 3D printer or with LEGO® pieces and then see how their designs and riverbank placements are impacted by slow (laminar) and fast (turbulent) water flow over the soil. Students make predictions, observations and conclusions about the stability of their model houses, and develop ideas for how to mitigate damage in civil engineering projects.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Eduardo Suescun
Sophia Mercurio
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Fish-Friendly Engineering
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Students further their understanding of the salmon life cycle and the human structures and actions that aid in the migration of fish around hydroelectric dams by playing an animated PowerPoint game involving a fish that must climb a fish ladder to get over a dam. They first brainstorm their own ideas, and then learn about existing ways engineers have made dams "friendlier" to migrating fish, before being quizzed as part of the game.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jeff Lyng
Kristin Field
Megan Podlogar
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Floodplain Modeling
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Students explore the impact of changing river volumes and different floodplain terrain in experimental trials with table top-sized riverbed models. The models are made using modeling clay in aluminum baking pans placed on a slight incline. Water added "upstream" at different flow rates and to different riverbed configurations simulates different potential flood conditions. Students study flood dynamics as they modify the riverbed with blockages or levees to simulate real-world scenarios.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Kristi Ekern
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tim Nicklas
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Fresh or Salty?
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sara Born
Date Added:
09/18/2014
From Lake to Tap
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ben Heavner
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sharon D. Perez-Suarez
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Clean is that Water?
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Cold Can You Go?
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Students explore materials engineering by modifying the material properties of water. Specifically, they use salt to lower the freezing point of water and test it by making ice cream. Using either a simple thermometer or a mechatronic temperature sensor, students learn about the lower temperature limit at which liquid water can exist such that even if placed in contact with a material much colder than 0 degrees Celsius, liquid water does not get colder than 0 °C. This provides students with an example of how materials can be modified (engineered) to change their equilibrium properties. They observe that when mixed with salt, liquid water's lower temperature limit can be dropped. Using salt-ice mixtures to cool the ice cream mixes to temperatures lower than 0 °C works better than ice alone.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Donna Johnson
Elina Mamasheva
Leonarda Huertas
Ryan Caeti
Ursula Koniges
Date Added:
09/18/2014
How Full Is Full?
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
10/14/2015
How Much Water Do You Use?
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Students keep track of their own water usage for one week, gaining an understanding of how much water is used for various everyday activities. They relate their own water usages to the average residents of imaginary Thirsty County, and calculate the necessary water capacity of a dam that would provide residential water to the community.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Kristin Field
Megan Podlogar
Sara Born
Tom Rutkowski
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Human Water Cycle
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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.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Katie Spahr
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Investigating Ponds and Streams: How clean is our water?
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Remix and Share
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This activity is a field investigation where students gather data on ponds and compare the results to determine the quality of the water.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Kyle Johnson
Date Added:
08/16/2012
Investigating Soil Composition - Soil Soaks Up Water
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This activity is a classroom quick lab where students explore sand, soil, and water in relation to absorption and permeability.

Subject:
Ecology
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Carrie Leisch
Date Added:
08/16/2012
Investigating the Water Cycle: Evaporation
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Remix and Share
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This activity is an outdoor lab in which students investigate the process of evaporation, record their findings, and use the data to make connections to the environment around them.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Sondra Tokarczyk
Date Added:
08/16/2012
Investigating the Water Cycle: Using Plants to Study Evaporation
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In this science activity, students investigate the water cycle by testing the water evaporated from leaves (transpiration) in a field experience. Students use elements of this information to track the water cycle through it's various stages.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Suzanne Bot
Date Added:
08/16/2012
Investigating the water cycle "snow fun"
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In this activity students collect snow in a cup, predict how much water will be in the cup when the snow melts. Students are exposed to evaporation as the water "disappears" over time and try to stop this from happening.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Locks and Dams
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Students are introduced to the structure, function and purpose of locks and dams, which involves an introduction to Pascal's law, water pressure and gravity.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Denise W. Carlson
Jeff Lyng
Kristin Field
Lauren Cooper
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Mini-Landslide
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Students explore how different materials (sand, gravel, lava rock) with different water contents on different slopes result in landslides of different severity. They measure the severity by how far the landslide debris extends into model houses placed in the flood plain. This activity is a small-scale model of a debris chute currently being used by engineers and scientists to study landslide characteristics. Much of this activity setup is the same as for the Survive That Tsunami activity in Lesson 5 of the Natural Disasters unit.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Emily Gill
Geoffrey Hill
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Timothy S. Nicklas
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Minnesota Watersheds
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
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This unit is to be taught as an extension to the FOSS WATER INVESTIGATION 1, Part 3, WATER ON A SLOPE. After learning that water flows down a slope, students will understand that this concept determines how our watersheds flow. It will also explain why some rivers (such as the Red River) appear to be flowing "up" on a map. They will then create a landform map of Minnesota accurately representing the higher elevations (our RIDGELINES) and the location of our major rivers and bodies of water. This unit can also be extended by many of the activities in the Project Wild and the MinnAqua Lesson Books.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Stafford Gutknecht
Date Added:
08/16/2012
Moving without Wheels
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In a class demonstration, students observe a simple water cycle model to better understand its role in pollutant transport. This activity shows one way in which pollution is affected by the water cycle; it simulates a point source of pollution in a lake and the resulting environmental consequences.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alejandro Reiman-Moreno
Amy Kolenbrander
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Tyman Stephens
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Permeable Pavement
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Students investigate how different riparian ground covers, such as grass or pavement, affect river flooding. They learn about permeable and impermeable materials through the measurement how much water is absorbed by several different household materials in a model river. Students use what they learn to make recommendations for engineers developing permeable pavement. Also, they consider several different limitations for design in the context of a small community.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Kaelin Cawley
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tim Nicklas
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Raging Rivers
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The lesson introduces students to the steps of the water cycle and rivers. They think about the effects of communities, sidewalks and roads on the natural flow of rainwater. Students also learn about the role of engineering in community planning and protecting our natural resources.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Kaelin Cawley
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Safe Water Unit
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This activity could be part of a bigger theme under pollution. The activity could be the water part and the bigger focus could contain all other types of pollution.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Brenda Dukek
Date Added:
08/16/2012
Snow vs. Water
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Engineers work in many fields associated with precipitation. Engineers study glaciers to better understand their dates of formation and current demise. They deal with issues of pollution transport and water yield, and they monitor reservoirs and dams to prevent flooding.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sara Born
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Swim to and from the Sea!
Conditions of Use:
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Students are introduced to the basic biology behind Pacific salmon migration and the many engineered Columbia River dam structures that aid in their passage through the river's hydroelectric dams. Students apply what they learn about the salmon life cycle as they think of devices and modifications that might be implemented at dams to aid in the natural cycle of fish migration, and as they make (hypothetical) Splash Engineering presentations about their proposed fish mitigation solutions for Birdseye River's dam in Thirsty County.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Jeff Lyng
Kristin Field
Lauren Cooper
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Terrarium-Investigating the water cycle in a 1 or 2 liter bottle.
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This guided inquiry investigation will show students how water moves through the water cycle, and how it affects plant life.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Date Added:
11/06/2014
An Underground River
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Groundwater is one of the largest sources of drinking water, so environmental engineers need to understand groundwater flow in order to tap into this important resource. Environmental engineers also study groundwater to predict where pollution from the surface may end up. In this lesson, students will learn how water flows through the ground, what an aquifer is and what soil properties are used to predict groundwater flow.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Melissa Straten
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Water Cycle: Investigating Condensation
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This activity is an introduction to the water cycle where students will use observation, drawing, writing, recording, questioning, and communication to understand the concept of condensation.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Water Filtration
Conditions of Use:
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Students are asked to design methods to filter water using ordinary materials, while also considering their designs' material and cost efficiencies. They learn about the importance of water and its role in our everyday lives. They come to understand what must occur each day so that they can have clean water.

Subject:
Engineering
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Erik Rushton
Erin Santini
Date Added:
09/18/2014