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Students explore the very real threat of running out of fresh water by examining the current Day Zero crisis facing the residents of Cape Town, South Africa. On or about April 12, 2018, this city of 3.7 million people will run out of drinking water. Students discuss the economic, social and environmental variables that have combined to create this calamity and in considering the conservation strategies that have been put in place, they are asked to measure their own water consumption and reflect on the impacts.
With this very important and disturbing event unfolding in real time, students are presented with number of STEM project options to undertake that will demonstrate the promise and limitations of science and engineering in providing a long-term solution to this situation and others playing out around the world.
Stem projects include demonstrating the potential for solar power desalinization, grey water recycling, rain water collection systems, dew taps and other technologies.
This resource presents a current and compelling case study in sustainable development that supports a variety of curriculum outcomes in geography, science and social studies across several grade levels.
It will also serve as an excellent tool to engage students in World Water Day.
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||Very Good|
Students form their own views and make recommendations based on the analysis of an actual case study and a follow-up investigation.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
The case study provides an excellent context for exploring the environmental, economic and social factors in the causes and consequences of fresh water shortages.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The case study describes the complexity of this very real problem and the recommended STEM projects effectively demonstrate both the promise and limitations of technology in finding solutions.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
The data tracking activity requires students to consider personal stewardship and conservation commitments. However no specific action activity is supported by the resource.
|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 are asked to share and discuss their water-use findings and consider personal conservation practices in light of what's happening in South Africa.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
The opportunity to emphasize the plight of the poorest people in this situation and similar ones around the world should be obvious.
|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||Good|
The goal of the resource is to make students aware of the very real problem of 'running out' of fresh water and focus their attention on conservation and action.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The seriousness of this 'real-time' catastrophe and the connection we all have to fresh water makes this resource highly relevant to young people everywhere. Students also connect to the issue by tracking their own water usage and impact.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
The focus is clearly on the present situation and what steps can/should be taken going forward.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
Students will draw their own conclusions from the case study and follow-up activities.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
In exploring sustainable development, the resource seamlessly incorporates content and skills from a range of curriculum disciplines.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students can investigate the promise and limitations of technology in solving water shortages around the world by completing the suggested STEM projects.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction||Poor/Not considered|
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Students collect and analyze real data and participate in hands-on investigation.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work both individually and in groups.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
There are no assessment tools or suggestions provided.
|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 opportunities are not included in this resource.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
The resource is built on a current and important case study in sustainable development.
|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|
Some choice and guidance is provided with respect to the STEM projects students undertake.
|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.|