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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: Groundwater and Archaeology

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
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1) What is causing the groundwater to rise to the foundations of Egypt's archaeological structures? What damage is the groundwater doing?

2) Describe at least two different solutions that have been proposed to combat the problem of the rising water table damaging the monuments. Which do you think is the better one, and why?

3) In your opinion... do we even need to save these monuments? Why? I mean, what are they really worth - are they worth anything?

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

Students may become confused about groundwater systems and how they work if this has not been introduced in class. Students will ask for additional details on the techniques used and how technology is being implemented to save the Egyptian monuments. Overall, students agree that the monuments should be saved, but the level of significance of these monuments to students' lives will vary.

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

Can the Sphinx Keep Its Feet Dry? UC Davis , July 2002.

Rising Water Table Threatens Egypt's Monuments, National Geographic News, May 31, 2002.

Soggy Soil Sours Egyptian Sandstone, Geotimes (more info) , September 2002.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:

  • Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Novak et al., 1999 The authors explain what Just-in-Time Teaching is, its underlying goals and philosophies, and how to implement it. They also provide an extensive section of tested resource materials that can be used in introductory physics courses with the JiTT approach. (citation and description)