Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Technology Tuesdays With Nicole: Water Quality Outside and On The Web

by Nicole Ouellette

This Technology Tuesday is all about drinking water. It’s a great time of year to go outside with students. Sometimes, science labs at schools even have water testing kits for pH, dissolved oxygen, algae, or other water quality indicators. (You can also buy testing strips, which end up being fairly economical and easier for littler kids to read.) Record results for one body of water or several bodies of water. Make observations about what lives by and in the water in addition to taking measurements of water quality indicators. I could go into a little more detail about data collection here but the important thing is to collect as much data as you can so it can be analyzed. And now the technology part.

After you’ve collected water data, you can determine water quality based on the results you found. National standards exist for drinking water contaminants and can be found here. How does the pH of your water compare to the pH the US considers safe, for example? Oftentimes, the same contaminant information is available for individual towns as well. To take the analysis one step further, you can also have students look at aquatic macroinvertebrates as a determinant for water quality in addition to the chemical pollution. Here are some handy photographs to help students identify the insects and which species are more pollution tolerant can be seen here.

So take your class outside before everything freezes and you’re stuck inside for the winter!

1 comment:

Jim Burke said...

I love this "Technology Tuesday" concept, Nicole! :) I've added the label, "Water Quality" to this post so that it will continue to be available in the alphabetical list on the sidebar (an index, if your will). I've also added "by Nicole Ouellette to the top of the post so that you get credit in readers.

I would love to see more practical, down-to-earth posts on Learning in Maine . . . and encourage our other writers to follow Nicole's lead. It would be great to have a number of "series" similar to this one done by a variety of individuals in the State.

If anyone needs to be given an
invitation to write posts, let me know . . . and I'll send it out.

Or if it isn't apparent on how to do it, let me know, and I'll gladly send out directions. :)

Thanks to everyone who have been able to contribute with post and comments during the first three months of our existence as a web presence.