Sustainable water: Development, delivery and assessment of K-5 modules

Alexandre David Wing, Cristal Hibbard, Jennifer Strong, Jörg E. Drewes, Junko Munakata-Marr

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

During the summer of 2012, a recently awarded National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center (ERC) paired with a university K-5 outreach program to bring cutting-edge topics in urban water systems to local elementary classrooms. The ERC is an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration between academic, non-profit and industrial partners with the goal of transforming urban water infrastructure into more sustainable systems. The university K-5 outreach program pairs graduate students in math, physics, and engineering with K-5 elementary school teachers in a local school district. During the school year, the graduate students, known as fellows, assist the teachers in their classrooms with the instruction and understanding of math and science. The program also includes a two week workshop in the summer that is mandatory training for all of the elementary teachers and graduate fellows participating in the program. During this workshop, elementary school teachers learn advanced science topics, receive instructional materials (with guidance) to take back to their classrooms, and get to know their designated graduate fellow. For two days (four two-hour sessions) of the 2012 Workshop, the ERC group introduced water sustainability topics to the participating K-5 teachers. ERC faculty, graduate students, and fellows associated with the outreach program collaborated in teams to develop and present lectures, lessons, and demos for each session/module. The four modules were "Natural Systems," "Water Cycle and Water Treatment," "Water Conservation and Re-use," and "Taste Test and Hungry Bugs." The modules covered a wide range of water topics including the water cycle, drinking water treatment, biological treatment of water and wastewater, pollution sources and water conservation, illustrated through fun and exploratory activities such as bottled vs. tap water tasting, edible aquifer parfaits, a "hungry bugs" game, and swabbing and culturing microbes. Participating teachers were asked to provide feedback on the presentations and were given a multiple choice pre- And post-test on the content of the sessions to evaluate how effective each presenter was at communicating their information. Results of these assessments, together with feedback from the use of the lessons in the elementary classrooms during the fall semester, are presented.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Atlanta, GA, United States
Duration: 23 Jun 201326 Jun 2013

Conference

Conference120th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAtlanta, GA
Period23/06/1326/06/13

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