Wising up to Water ~ Simple yet Complex

Overview High schoolers collaborate with Urban Ecology Institute (UEI) at Boston College and Vista volunteers to share chemistry and media technology skills with local elementary students. Visits to their science buddies' school and presentations at their high school's learning festivals broaden their organizational and instructional skills. They investigate water careers, pursue testing techniques, and use curricula from the local water authority and the Internet. Participation in classroom demonstrations, learning festivals and a UEI conference leads to student advocacy of a citizenry wise in the ways of water our most precious compound

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Agree to longitudinal testing of stream adjacent to school.
Develop investigation protocol with UEI & Vista volunteers.
Perform LaMotte Water Quality test. USGS Water Properties.
Conduct Internet research on water cycle & materials for science buddies' Take Home Folders.
Organize & record water quality data & prepare computer slide show for for UEI conference & learning festivals.
Produce individual docucerts for science buddies.
Contact local school & describe water project to science buddies.
Visit school & help buddies with email procedures.
Teach lab safety & science related songs during learning festivals.
Distribute Take Home packets to share with families.
Review water cycle & show ways to practice conservation at learning festivals.
Demonstrate ways to test for water pollution.
Present docucerts to participating science buddies at final learning festival.
Contribute to UEI data base & present project at UEI conference.
Participate in simulated water crisis survey with science buddies.
Report on successful teaching strategies during Future of Educators of America.
Search American Water Works Association for information on water professions.
Review School to Career Competencies adapted for elementary students.
Organize display of various science careers at learning festival.

Learning Standards Science

Gather scientific information through laboratory & field observation.
Design & conduct scientific investigations.
Use technology to obtain, use & present information effectively.
Identify aspects of social & personal issues that can be addressed through scientific study.

Learning Standards English Language Art

Use various formats & technology to complete & enhance work.
Use telecommunications to share information & ideas.
Make effective presentations.
Understand & use the writing process effectively.
Collaborate on project that applies learning to educate others.

School to Career Competencies

Practice Communication & Literacy Skills.
Organize & Analyze Information.
Problem Solve.
Use Technology.
Understand All Aspects of the Industry.

Assessment Teacher reviews student ability to individually perform six water quality tests from LaMotte water testing kit and UEI protocol manual. Student teams evaluate products (computer slide shows, docucerts, video tape) along with organization and presentation skills at learning festivals and conference.

Software or Materials Used For docucerts: digital camera, Microsoft PowerPoint, PhotoShop, Word Art and the Internet; for water testing: LaMotte Water Monitoring Equipment; for water cycle information and classroom activities and conservation tips: Water Wizards and Water Watchers from the Massachusetts Water Authority along with Student List of Web Sites on Water; for science songs on tape The Chemistry SongBag tape by Michael Offut; for more Science Songs including Beth's Rock Collection Songs of Science for our Times: Dr. Chordate Sings Science Meets Music for an Education in Fun

Web Sites Student Annotated List of Water Web Sites

Keywords Science, water cycle, water quality, water conservation, environmental education, mentoring, service learning, cross generational learning, cross curriculum learning, hands on learning, watershed project, chemistry for youngsters, school to career, docucert, pH

Final Words Participating students show increased literacy and tehnology skills when they perform as science mentors. Positive feedback from collaborating adults, volunteers and elementary science buddies reinforces their commitment to water conservation.

Teacher Tip During high school learning festivals, elementary students love their chem lab visits. Formula for future scientists: Start with safety precautions including goggles and aprons. Use simple hands on testing with apparatus. The final science song produces amazing results that youngsters can share with their family.

E-mail contact Marion Sweeney

Teacher Bio A BPS Lead Teacher and 30 year veteran, Marion Sweeney has been a science faculty member at East Boston, English and West Roxbury High Schools. Her professional affiliations include national, state and local Science Teachers Associations, Boston Teachers Union, and Delta Kappa Gamma. Marion, a semi finalist for Massachusetts Teacher of the Year in 1997, was nominated for the Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching in 1995 and 1998. She has achieved National Science Teacher Association Certification in the areas of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, Earth /Space Science, and Broadfield Science at the middle, junior, and high school Levels.

Subject Areas Chemistry, English Language Arts, Technology, Special Education Inclusion

Grade Levels 11-12

Students High school students with upper elementary students

Return To Index Page