by Amy Kessner, The Groundwater Foundation
A new Groundwater Foundation program called Groundwater Restoration: An Introduction to Environmental Engineering is bringing groundwater education to Title I Elementary Schools! During these programs, 5th grade students learn about groundwater, common sources of groundwater pollution, and how important it is to protect and conserve groundwater!
The students work in groups to complete a three-part activity:
1. Awesome Aquifers: What is Groundwater?
The program begins with an introduction to groundwater through The Groundwater Foundation’s Awesome Aquifer kits. Students create a model aquifer and learn about concepts like recharge, runoff, wells, the water table, and surface water – groundwater connections.
2. Groundwater Pollution: Common Sources of Pollution.
In the second part of the activity, students pollute their aquifers while learning about common sources of pollution. Common household items are used to represent the pollutants. For example, baking soda represents pesticides and fertilizers.
3. Groundwater Restoration: Remediating Groundwater by Designing Water Filters!
Finally, students become engineers and work together as a team to design, develop, and test their very own water filter! Students can use a myriad of items including activated carbon, cotton balls, and coffee filters in order to clean their polluted water. At the end of the activity, the difficulties of cleaning water and the importance of protecting and conserving groundwater are discussed.
This program has been made possible thanks to the Nebraska Environmental Trust, Captain Planet Foundation, and most importantly by our donors and supporters like you! Check out some photos of the students participating in the activity below. If you have any questions about Groundwater Restoration: An Introduction to Environmental Engineering or wish to learn more contact Amy Kessner at 402-434-2740 ext. 105.