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Activities for Teaching about Water


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Exploring sustainability through water cycle connections part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Tim Lutz, West Chester University of Pennsylvania
During this module students use multiple experiences (reading, video, the outdoors, a survey of their water footprints, writing, and lots of discussion) to examine how life today, in comparison to pre-industrial times, makes our connections to water virtually invisible. Students use the class's water footprint results to find out how agricultural and industrial water uses link us to people distant in both place and time. They weigh the consequences of these invisible connections in creating the lost sense of dependence and responsibility that typifies unsustainability. Students study the variability of water footprints within our class to help identify more sustainable personal choices. They consider the activity of a local watershed association to educate and involve people in improving the quality of local streams as a model of how community action can accomplish what individuals cannot.

A Sustainable Southwest Japanese Garden part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
Rhonda Spidell, Albuquerque Academy
A Sustainable Southwest Japanese Garden Project combines Earth Systems geoscience curriculum with designing and developing a sustainable Japanese garden. The garden uses water harvested from the roof of the ...

Rainwater Harvesting Service Learning Project part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
Linda McCall, Texas Water Development Board
Students will gain an understanding of the history, benefits, and components of a rainwater harvesting system and partner with community members to design and build a rainwater harvesting system for their school.

Resource Usage Project and Journal part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Gina Szablewski, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Students keep track of one resource (water, electricity, gas, etc.) they use for a 7-day period. They summarize their usage patterns, give opinions, and get some self-realization about their habits.

How Much Water Do I Use? part of Process of Science:Examples
Dave Gosselin, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
This activity provides an opportunity for the student to collect data on their individual water use to set the stage for a unit on water resources.

Drought: Unit Overview part of EarthLabs:Drought
Betsy Youngman; LuAnn Dahlman;
Drought is an ever-present threat to all people whose lifestyles have been built on the availability of water. Across the planet, millions of humans make their homes and grow crops in areas that receive minimal amounts of precipitation. In this EarthLabs module students learn that when precipitation drops below normal, drought conditions can develop and economic, environmental, and social impacts can follow. The unit teaches students to interpret climate data to recognize the symptoms and evaluate the severity of drought. The unit raises awareness of the need to be prepared to face drought conditions that may become more common as our planet warms.

Drought Unit Overview part of EarthLabs for Educators:Drought
Betsy Youngman;
Drought is an ever-present threat to all people whose lifestyles have been built on the availability of water. Across the planet, millions of humans make their homes and grow crops in areas that receive minimal amounts of precipitation. In this EarthLabs module students learn that when precipitation drops below normal, drought conditions can develop and economic, environmental, and social impacts can follow. The unit teaches students to interpret climate data to recognize the symptoms and evaluate the severity of drought. The unit raises awareness of the need to be prepared to face drought conditions that may become more common as our planet warms.

What can you do? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Carolyn Dowling, Arkansas State University-Main Campus
This activity helps students, specifically non-majors, to become more environmentally conscious. They identify a minimum of five behaviors, situations, or actions that are harmful to the environment and can be ...

Assessing Water Resource Demand in New York City part of Integrate:Workshops:Engineering, Sustainability, and the Geosciences:Activities
Kyle Monahan, Clarkson University
An exercise assessing the water demand of New York City and population dynamics underlying that demand is provided. Visualization of first order water resource estimates using precipitation data and a known water storage volume are used to draw conclusions about drought risk and the sustainability of NYC water supplies.

The Lifestyle Project part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
Karin Kirk, Carleton College
This three-week project challenges students to learn about environmental alternatives by modifying their own lifestyles. Throughout the project, students reduce their impacts on the environment by changing the way ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Lifestyle Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
Karin Kirk, Montana State University/SERC and John J. Thomas, Skidmore College
This three-week project challenges students to learn about environmental alternatives by modifying their own lifestyles. Throughout the project, students reduce their impacts on the environment by changing the way in which they live from day to day.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Environment and the Earth Class part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Service Learning:Examples
Compiled by Suzanne Savanick, Science Education Resource Center. Based on Bixby et al. (2003), Ecology on Campus: Service Learning in Introductory Environmental Courses, Journal of College Science Teaching, v. 32, n.5, o, 327-331.
The Environment and the Earth class at the University of South Carolina participated in a campus environmental service-learning project where students collected data lighting, water fixtures, recycling bins, and trash in five academic buildings.

The Lifestyle Project at Malaspina University-College, British Columbia part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Experience-Based Environmental Projects
Steven Earle, Geology Department, Malaspina University-College, Nanaimo, BC, Canada
The project is used in two courses, both with the theme of understanding the environmental implications of our use of energy, exploring personal energy use, and learning about the types of energy available to Canadians. One is a face-to-face course for Education majors, the other is an on-line course available to all upper-level (3rd and 4th year) students.


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