Cutting Edge > Courses > Introductory Courses > Activities > Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater Treatment

Bianca Pedersen
,
University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
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This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.

This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Apr 30, 2008

Summary

This activity involves a tour of the local waste water treatment plant, where the students learn about the waste water treatment process. Following the tour the students write up a paper describing the water's path from residential housing, through the treatment plant until discharge into the local river. This activity links the everyday activities of students to course material.

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Context

Audience

This activity has been used in an introductory level geology course comprised mostly of non-majors, but have also used in an upper-level undergraduate hydrogeology course for majors. I have used it in my Environmental Geology course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

This activity is done after the topic of groundwater and water resources have been introduced in lecture.

How the activity is situated in the course

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

The goal of this activity is to get the student to link lecture material on water resources and waste disposal with their lives.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

It is also the goals of this activity to develop the students' ability to write papers with scientific content and learn how to find and use references in their writing.

Description of the activity/assignment

Before this activity the students will have heard about groundwater and water resources through lecture to give them a background on where our drinking water comes from. The activity involves a tour of the local wastewater treatment plant where the students told about the treatment processes and shown the treatment facility. They are also introduced to the water quality testing done at the plans and they learn about the energy usage/management at the plant. As part of the activity they write up a paper on the processes in the treatment process from the time water enters the plant until it exits. The students are encouraged before hand to ask questions to ensure that they gather the needed information. This always means that each tour has a slightly different content based on these questions.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The papers are evaluated based on; the understanding of the waste water treatment processes, the quality of writing and correct use of references.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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