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Students become environmental engineers in this innovative STEM resource that uses an inquiry based approach to address the global issue of water pollution. Real world science provides a meaningful learning experience where a class will:
This resource supports science and mathematics outcomes related to environmental and human health, solutions and mixtures and numeracy. There is also a strong emphasis on scientific literacy with the application of an experimental process to testing filter materials and describing results. The lesson would also make an excellent introduction to a World Water Day school celebration where students are able to explore water conservation.
Students could extend their learning with a citizenship project to purchase personal water filtration straws for a school in a developing country that struggles with access to clean water. The class could link with the school using audio-visual technology to teach the recipients how the devices work to filter bacteria and other hazards from dirty water.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
This resource promotes ingenuity and demonstrates how real world science can help resolve serious environmental concerns. There is also an emphasis on cooperative problem solving and students will recognize the value of active citizenship.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Students gain an appreciation for the complexities involved in treating dirty water so it becomes safe to release into the environment. This new awareness will lead to critical thinking about the social and financial costs of pollution.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students are able to connect cause and effect relationships to pollution concerns and develop an increased awareness of the collective role of individual citizenship in safeguarding our planet.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Students learn that polluted water is a significant global issue that can be addressed through a personal commitment to be more conscious of their environmental footprint. Individual sustainability goals could be integrated into the lesson by having the class identify action items at home such as being more aware of what goes down the drain.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
Although this resource is classroom based, visiting a local river or stream would deepen students connection to the topic and increase awareness of local water sources.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Poor/Not considered|
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Poor/Not considered|
Student driven strategies for reducing pollution support looking towards the future with long-lasting changes in the way they think about water conservation.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
The activities promote creativity and critical thinking while engaging students in thoughtful discussions about how they can help reduce pollution with personal action strategies.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Mathematical skills like multiplication and division are strengthened while conducting the science experiments that establish the framework for active discussions about the sustainability issue of water pollution.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
All the activities stimulate curiosity by providing a structure that actively engages students in posing questions and discovering answers.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Differentiation suggestions are provided by grade level. The hands-on content with a teamwork approach ensures struggling students can be engaged in the learning process.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students are active participants in the scientific process as they plan and build water filters and then alter variables to analyze effectiveness. The relevance of the task could be increased by having examples of simple personal water filters that are currently available such as "Lifestraws".
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in teams where they share the role of planning, data collection and analyzing results.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Includes a series of worksheets that can be used as formative and summative assessment.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The topic is particularly relevant as our planet faces a global water crisis. There is an opportunity to discuss this issue in relationship to poverty and the inequitable distribution of resources.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Students are acting as "engineers" and are able to choose the design and materials for their filters.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|