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Think Like a Scientist: Hands on Discovery Through Water Quality Gail Powell, Ph.D. 2004 Kenan Fellow Leesville Road Middle School WCPSS Dr. Joel Ducoste.

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Presentation on theme: "Think Like a Scientist: Hands on Discovery Through Water Quality Gail Powell, Ph.D. 2004 Kenan Fellow Leesville Road Middle School WCPSS Dr. Joel Ducoste."— Presentation transcript:

1 Think Like a Scientist: Hands on Discovery Through Water Quality Gail Powell, Ph.D Kenan Fellow Leesville Road Middle School WCPSS Dr. Joel Ducoste Kenan Mentor Dept. of Civil Engineering NCSU

2 North Carolina State University Kenan Institute Kenan Fellows Program Designed to promote teacher leadership in math and science Two year program; Awarded to ten teachers annually Work with a university professor to develop lessons that can be incorporated into the classroom Includes stipend, training, college credit

3 North Carolina State University Kenan Institute Kenan Fellows Program cont. All Kinds of Minds Institute – Schools Attuned Program “Fireside Chats” with political figures and educational leaders Create a website so other teachers can use our work

4 2004 Kenan Fellowship Project: Water Quality – Hands on Science Teach the scientific method through the NCSCOS hydrosphere goals Heighten student awareness of water and environmental issues Allow students to experience the process of scientific research from discovery to development of solutions

5 I would like to acknowledge the support of: Dr. JoAnn Burkholder Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology NCSU

6 Sampling for Water Quality

7 Water Quality Activities in the Classroom Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology –www.ncsu.edu/wg –Live monitoring data from sampling sites –Visual demonstrations of nutrient plumes, oxygen levels and fish kills –Bioterrorism monitoring tool

8 Government’s Role in Solving Environmental Issues Funding Research Monitoring Develop Technology Educate the Public Government Policy Government Regulations Enforcement

9 Approach to Student Understanding Understand the nature of the issue –Text books and current events Develop laboratory skills –Scientific method –Hands on experiences –Stream water quality monitoring –Record, graph and interpret data Apply knowledge learned to develop technological solutions Understand and participate in the regulatory process to solve issue –Letter writing –Write “Endangered Species Protection Plan”

10 The Nature of the Issue: Neuse River Basin Point source pollution –Butner’s proposed increase of waste water discharge into Falls Lake –Confined Animal Feed Operations Hogs Poultry –Sewage Treatment Plants

11 Neuse River Basin Issues (cont.) Non point source pollution: –Agricultural runoff –Urban growth / Development Pfiesteria – toxic dinoflagellate

12 Explore Pond Microorganisms Examine samples of pond and lake water which we will examine for microorganisms Identify the organisms Use website to learn about types of pond microorganisms, where they live, and their habits:

13 Learning Experimental Design and Technique Scientific Research is a process involving a series of experiments that provide understanding Design and conduct a simple lab bioassay to test the effects of one environmental parameter on duckweed survival and growth –pH, fertilizer, turbidity, temperature, light, etc. Use data from the first experiment to design and conduct one or two follow up experiments Class shares their data: What did we learn about duckweed?

14 Duckweed Duckweed Bioassays

15 Learning Experimental Design and Technique cont. Design and conduct a simple lab bioassay to test the effects of one environmental parameter on brine shrimp survival and growth –pH, oil, fertilizer, turbidity, temperature, light, etc. Use data from this experiment to design and conduct one or two follow up experiments Class shares their data: What did we learn about the effects of environmental factors on brine shrimp survival ?

16 Environmental Monitoring Students learn to identify stream macroinvertebrates using dichotomous keys Students learn to conduct colorimetric chemical assays of stream water: pH, nitrates, phosphate, oxygen, turbidity Students learn to determine water quality based on macroinvertebrate and chemical data

17 Macroinvertebrate Sampling Using a Kick Net Sorting Macroinvertebrates

18 Calculating Stream Index Values 1.Identify the macroinvertebrates. 2.Group organisms according to pollution tolerance Group 1 – Clean water only (3 pts X # of types) Group 2 - Tolerate clean to moderately clean (2 pts X # of types) Group 3 – Tolerate clean to polluted water (1 pt X # of types)

19 Calculating Stream Index Values 3. Stream Index Value (SIV) = Group 1 pts + Group 2 pts + Group 3 pts Excellent (>22) Good (17-22) Fair(11-16) Poor(< 11)

20 Water Chemistry Data pH – measures the relative acidity –6.5 to 8.5 is normal in US Nitrate – acts as a fertilizer; causes algae blooms ; 5 ppm = poor Phosphate – acts as fertilizer; causes algae blooms; 10 ppm = poor

21 Water Chemistry Data cont. Dissolved Oxygen –Concentration increases in cold water: 9 to 10 ppm = very good; < 4 ppm some stream organisms decline BOD – Biological Oxygen Demand: measures how much available oxygen is used by bacteria to decay organic matter in the water; – (Day 1 DO - Day 5 DO) = BOD –1-2 ppm = very good; 3-5 ppm = moderately clean; 6-9 ppm = somewhat polluted; >10 ppm = very polluted

22 Water Data cont. Turbidity – how clear or cloudy the water is –Measured with Secchi disk in deep water –Measured with turbidity tube in shallow water –Turbidity tube data of 0 to 10 JTU or NTU = normal –Secchi depth of <1 m = high concentration of suspended solids

23 Effects of a Golf Course on Water Quality and Stream Health Students analyze macroinvertebrate samples from one location that is upstream and one that is downstream of a golf course Students calculate SIVs for both sites Students analyze water chemistry for both sites (pH, nitrates, phosphates, turbidity etc.)

24 Effects of a Golf Course on Water Quality and Stream Health cont. Students write an essay comparing and contrasting the macroinvertebrate and water chemistry data Students determine whether or not the golf course impacted water quality Students explain why the golf course did or did not impact stream health

25 Technological Solutions: Drinking Water Treatment Students design, construct and test methods to clean undrinkable water –Filtration techniques –Condensation techniques Students use software to design water treatment facilities which maximize microbial control with minimal cost –Chlorination contactor chamber

26 Drinking Water Treatment Plant

27 COAGULATION SEDIMENTATION FILTRATION DISINFECTION STORAGE COMPLETE CYCLE OF WATER TREATMENT:

28 Design a Chlorination Process Expose microorganisms for an amount of time with a minimum amount of disinfectant The amount of time that water spends in a chamber is based on the chamber volume and flow rate: Time = volume / flow rate

29 Design of a Chlorination Process This is an average time since water can take many paths through a reactor

30 Your job! Design a chlorine contactor –Shape: must be rectangular –Size: must be < 120 m 2 : Cost is $300/m 2 –May include baffles: cost of baffles are $50/m Baffles are 0.3 m wide, length is up to the design team –Must have 1 inlet and 1 outlet placed anywhere on the reactor border Inlet and outlet width is 0.25 m Depth is set at 1 m –Water flow speed = 0.25 to 0.75 m/s Total flow (MGD) = water speed * inlet width*depth*22.8 You need to supply at least 2 MGD –You will evaluate: Outlet microorganism concentration Cost of design

31 Your Job ! Example sketch of design inlet outlet baffles Make sure to specify all dimensions and the location of baffles, inlet, and outlet from bottom left corner

32 Regulatory Solutions Understand government processes in environmental protection Write an “Endangered Species Plan” Participate in government processes through letter writing to government officials Understand the importance of enforcement

33 Letter Writing Students express personal opinions on a scientific issue of their choice Students learn how to influence government processes Students understand the importance of expressing views on environmental issues Learn standard business letter format Letters used as a work sample in writing folders

34 Fictitious “Endangered Species Plan” to Protect Brine Shrimp in the Year 2050 Students: –Compile class brine shrimp lab data (effects of pH, sediment, salinity, oil, fertilizer etc. on brine shrimp) –Write a fictitious plan to protect brine shrimp based on what we have learned from class lab data –Plan includes use of buffers, captive breeding, public education, regulations and technology

35 Solutions: Educating the Public Develop understanding of water quality issues Develop concern about water quality issues Initiate involvement in solutions to water quality issues

36 Summary Develop an integrated approach to water quality issues for the 8 th grade science curriculum Understand nature of water quality issues in Neuse River Basin Incorporate hands on laboratory research experiences Participate in water quality monitoring Understand technological solutions Understand regulatory solutions Understand the importance of educating the public on environmental issues

37 Student Understanding “Once we understand we can care, and once we care, we can change.” Jimmy Carter

38 Specific Goals Develop an integrated approach to water quality issues for the 8 th grade science curriculum Understand nature of water quality issues in Neuse River Basin Incorporate hands on laboratory experiences Participate in water quality monitoring

39 Specific Goals (cont.) Understand the use of technological solutions –Drinking water treatment –Waste water treatment Understand the use of regulatory solutions –Non point source –Point source Understand the importance of educating the public on water quality issues

40 How Do Scientists and Government Resolve Environmental Issues ? Identify an environmental issue  Develop understanding through basic research Develop understanding through monitoring Develop solutions based on knowledge Technology Regulatory Public Awareness/Involvement

41 Laboratory Experiences cont. Participate in analysis of stream samples to determine the effects of a golf course on stream health –Chemical analysis –Macroinvertebrate analysis Use knowledge gained from their brine shrimp bioassays to write a fictitious “Endangered Species Protection Plan for brine shrimp in the year 2050

42 Laboratory Experiences  Explore the world of aquatic microorganisms –Laboratory/microscopes –www.microscopy-uk.net/full_menu.html Design and conduct lab experiments to test effects of assorted pollutants on aquatic microorganisms –Duckweed bioassays –Crustacean bioassays Identify stream macroinvertebrates Measure stream water chemistry


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