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Operation Water Flow- Science

Secondary

Description

In this activity the class creates a model of the subsurface showing what aquifers are and how they can be contaminated as the result of activities and processes taking place on the land's surface.  Students are able to see first-hand how human actions above ground can effect the drinking water stored below.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This activity teaches students how to build a model showing an aquifer.

Strengths

This is a very concrete activity that would quickly deliver the message of the potential for ground water contamination.

Weaknesses

An associated action component that explicitly instructs teachers and students regarding identification of hazards and communication for awareness is needed.

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 9
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Core
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Chemistry
    • Grade 12
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Dynamics of Ecosystems
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
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        • Canadian Geography 1202: Natural and Human Systems
      • Science
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        • Science 1206: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
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      • Science
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        • Science 2200: Ecosytems
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      • Science
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        • Earth Systems 3209: Introduction to Earth Systems Science
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 9
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      • Science
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        • Biological Diversity
        • Environmental Chemistry
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      • Science
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        • Science 14:Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
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      • Science
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        • Science 30: Chemistry and the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Environmental Science: Aquatic and Terrestrial Pollution
      • Science
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        • Geology 12: Environmental Geology
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 9
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      • Science
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        • Chemistry and the Environment
    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 14: Investigating Matter and Energy in the Environment
    • Grade 12
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Chemistry and the Environment
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Interactions in the Physical Environment
      • Science
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        • :Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
    • Grade 11
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      • Geography
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        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Technological Education
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        • Manufacturing Tecnology (College Prep.) Technology, the Environment, and Society
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
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        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep) : Ecological Systems: Interactions and Interdependence
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Human-Environment Interactions
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ. / College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Science (Univ. Prep.) Geological Processes
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 431A: Life Science, Sustainability of Ecosystems
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics

Themes Addressed

  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Pesticides
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Hazardous Waste
  • Water (2)

    • Water Quality
    • Watershed Protection

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

Clearly illustrates that contaminants can make their way to an unconfined aquifer.

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 Poor/Not considered

Simply shows that scientific subsurface model and potential for contamination. An extension section at the end suggests that students research aquifers in their home community which could lead to the social implications of contamination.

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 Good

This is an illustration of impact. No effort is made to teach students about clean up. Observations of the impact of surface contamination would definitely promote dialogue among students in the class and probably also outside of class, with others. Such an illustration would leave no room for debate.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

With the experiences students may recognize that local actions could negatively impact their drinking water but they are not taken to action by the activity.

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 Poor/Not considered
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

Students perform this activity indoors as a class group.

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 Good

The concrete example can be used as an illustration of any drinking water aquifer. Students can relate because all communities are dependent on safe drinking water.

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 Poor/Not considered
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 Poor/Not considered

Students are encouraged to learn that contamination of drinking water is a problem.

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
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 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

Students learn about subsurface strata, aquifers and contamination. They would feel concern when they see an aquifer contaminated, knowing the need for the water resource in the aquifer.

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 Good

Even though the experience is with a model, it would encourage a personal connection with, and concern for, ground water contamination.

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 Good

A class works together to create the model and observe the model in action.

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 Poor/Not considered
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.

  • 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
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 Poor/Not considered
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.