Wising up to Water ~ Simple yet Complex
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
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
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