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Elementary Operation Water Drop

Elementary, Middle

Description

Students conduct scientific tests on their water and three other samples to explore a range of contaminates and determine if their drinking water is safe.

  • The Operation Water Drop kit will be mailed upon registration and consists of everything you need to complete seven scientific tests to determine and compare the quality of your drinking water to Canadian guidelines. Three of the tests are teacher demo's and four are conducted by the students. One of the teacher demos, Heterotrophic Plate Count, requires a week of sample incubation before results can be analyzed.
  • Thelessons can be downloaded immediately from the Safe Drinking Water Foundation website.
  • Clear instructions for each test, background information, fact sheets and ideas for action are also available directly from the  website.
  • Tests include: Heterotrophic Plate Count; Alkalinity; Sulphate; Colour; pH 6; Residual Chlorine and; Total Hardness
  • General Assessment

    What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

    • How to conduct seven distinct scientific tests to determine water quality.

    Strengths

    • The website provides excellent supplemental material.
    • The kits are comprehensive and well packaged to prevent damage to equipment.
    • The kits are affordable and in some cases completely subsidized making them especially accessible.
    • Lesson plans are available on line and are specific and easy to follow.
    • Kit plans are provided for double checking.
    • Lessons from other kits are easily accessible for mixing and matching.
    • The activities can change the way students think about their tap water, and water around the world.

    Relevant Curriculum Units

    The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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    • Alberta
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      • Grade 3
        • Step 3Select a subject
        • Health Education
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
      • Grade 8
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        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
    • British Columbia
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      • Grade 2
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        • Physical Education & Health
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Physical and Health Education: Adopting healthy personal practices and safety strategies protects ourselves and others
      • Grade 3
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        • Physical Education & Health
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Physical and Health Education: Adopting healthy personal practices and safety strategies protects ourselves and others
    • Manitoba
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      • Grade 8
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        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Water Systems on Earth
    • Newfoundland & Labrador
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      • Grade 7
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        • Science
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          • Mitures & Solutions
      • Grade 8
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        • Science
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          • Water Systems on Earth's Surface
    • Northwest Territories
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      • Grade 6
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        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things
      • Grade 8
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        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
    • Nova Scotia
      • Step 2Select a grade level
      • Grade 8
        • Step 3Select a subject
        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
    • Nunavut
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      • Grade 6
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        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Life Systems: Diversity of Living Things
      • Grade 8
        • Step 3Select a subject
        • Science
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          • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
          • Interactions in Our Environment
    • Ontario
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      • Grade 7
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        • Geography
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Natural Resources around the World: Use and Sustainability
        • Science & Technology
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          • Interactions in the Environment
      • Grade 8
    • Prince Edward Island
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      • Grade 7
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        • Science
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          • Mixtures and Solutions
      • Grade 8
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        • Science
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          • Water Systems on Earth
    • Quebec
    • Saskatchewan
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      • Grade 8
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        • Science
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
    • Yukon Territory
      • Step 2Select a grade level
      • Grade 2
        • Step 3Select a subject
        • Physical Education & Health
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Physical and Health Education: Adopting healthy personal practices and safety strategies protects ourselves and others
      • Grade 3
        • Step 3Select a subject
        • Physical Education & Health
          • Step 4Relevant matches
          • Physical and Health Education: Adopting healthy personal practices and safety strategies protects ourselves and others

    Themes Addressed

    • Water (1)

      • Water Quality

    Sustainability Education Principles

    Principle Rating Explanation
    Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good
    • Students come to conclusions about the safety of their drinking water based on the results of the scientific tests they conduct.
    • There is allusion to rural water being substandard.
    • SDWF is a Canadian charity that conducts research and uses scientific solutions to procure safe drinking water in rural and First Nation communities in Canada and abroad. The SDWF aims to educate students and adults regarding water issues as well as positively impacting change at all levels of government, with an overarching goal of providing safe drinking water to all Canadians, and ultimately to rural people everywhere.
    Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
    • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
    • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
    • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
    Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
    • The procedure description that accompanies each test describes the possible causes, possible health effects, and possible solutions of a water sample that does not meet the guideline. 
    • The suggested questions that accompany the lesson plan begin to get kids thinking about the social and political dimensions of water quality issues.
    Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

    Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

    • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
    • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
    • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
    Respects Complexity Very Good
    •  The variety of tests teach that there are a variety of factors that impact water quality.
    Respects Complexity:

    The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

    Acting on Learning Satisfactory
    • SWDF recommends that students complete more of their programs, such as Operation Water Pollution, Water Flow,  and Operation Water Health before instituting one of the action suggestions they have provided.
    • Action suggestions are integral to the learning, but are poorly developed.
    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

    • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
    • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
    • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
    Values Education Good
    Values Education:

    Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

    Empathy & Respect for Humans Good
    • Suggested questions encourage consideration of water safety for people living in rural environments, including indigenous people.
    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
    • It is strongly recommended that the tests be completed in a clean, lab environment.
    Personal Affinity with Earth:

    Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

    • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
    • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
    • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
    Locally-Focused Learning Very Good
    Locally-Focused Learning:

    Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

    • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
    • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
    • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
    Past, Present & Future Satisfactory
    • Present and future based lesson.
    Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

    Pedagogical Approaches

    Principle Rating Explanation
    Open-Ended Instruction Good
    • This is a guided inquiry with results that are unknown.
    Open-Ended Instruction :

    Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

    Integrated Learning Poor/Not considered
    • This is  science-based lesson. Other curriculum areas are considered in the complimentary SDWF kits and lessons.
    Integrated Learning:

    Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

    • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
    • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
    • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
    Inquiry Learning Very Good
    Inquiry Learning:

    Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

    • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
    • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
    • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

     

    Differentiated Instruction Good
    • There is opportunity for various forms of participation.
    Differentiated Instruction:

    Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

    • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
    • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
    • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
    Experiential Learning Very Good
    Experiential Learning:

    Authentic learning experiences are provided

    • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
    • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
    • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
    Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
    Cooperative Learning:

    Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

    • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
    • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
    • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
    Assessment & Evaluation Good
    • A student evaluation and a results summary is included along with a set of possible reflection questions.
    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 Satisfactory
    • This is not an element of the lesson unless students are ready to move on to the action suggestions.
    Peer Teaching:

    Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

    • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
    • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
    Case Studies Poor/Not considered
    • Although not intentionally linked to the lesson, many case studies are available on the website http://www.safewater.org/resources/fact-sheets.html
    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 Good
    • If students are ready to move on to the action plan, they will have opportunity to choose what they will do.
    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.