The Freshwater baMEL
Below are links to resources that will help students use the Freshwater baMEL and develop an understanding of the spatial complexity of access to freshwater resources.
This article provides an introduction to the Freshwater build-a-MEL (baMEL). It is useful even if you are using the Freshwater MEL with your students. The primary difference between the MEL and the baMEL is that with the MEL students are given two models and four lines of evidence in a preconstructed diagram where as with the baMEL students choose two models from three and select four lines of evidence from eight to create their own MEL diagram.Freshwater Resources: The Challenges of Quantity and Quality (Acrobat (PDF) 529kB Feb8 21)
Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations
MS-ESS2-4: Earth's Systems
- Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
MS-ESS3-1: Earth and Human Activity
- Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
MS-ESS3-3: Earth and Human Activity
- Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
HS-ESS3-2: Earth's Systems
- Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
HS-ESS3-1: Earth and Human Activity
- Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
Model A: Earth's freshwater is abundant and will remain so even in the face of global climate change.
Model B: Earth has a shortage of freshwater that can be met by engineering solutions.
Model C: Earth has a shortage of freshwater, which will worsen as our world's population increases.
- Freshwater baMEL Model Plausibility Ratings (Acrobat (PDF) 16kB May17 21)
- Freshwater baMEL – Models (Acrobat (PDF) 18kB May17 21)
- baMEL – Diagram (Acrobat (PDF) 21kB Feb8 21)
- Explanation Task (Acrobat (PDF) 213kB May17 21)
Lines of Evidence
Evidence #1: Land use changes have generated large pressures on freshwater resources. These changes are affecting both water quality and availability.
Evidence #2: The world's population is increasing. This stresses the supply of freshwater.
Evidence #3: Groundwater provides freshwater to many people around the world. In many places, people are using groundwater faster than it is replaced by precipitation.
Evidence #4: Water reclamation and desalination costs are expensive. These costs vary depending on location.
Evidence #5: Advances in engineering have led to better access to quality drinking water. At the same time life expectancy and quality of life have improved.
Evidence #6: Glaciers are a source of freshwater in many parts of the world. Glacial ice mass is decreasing worldwide.
Evidence #7: Most climate predictions are on regional scales. Microclimates are local areas where precipitation and temperature are influenced by vegetation cover, topography, and human activity. Large-scale predictions may not accurately reflect local trends in freshwater availability.
Evidence #8: In the contiguous US, average temperatures and precipitation have increased since 1901. From 2000-2015, the US was abnormally dry with some parts of the country in moderate to severe drought.
- Freshwater baMEL – Lines of Evidence (Acrobat (PDF) 106kB May17 21)
- Freshwater baMEL – Evidence Texts (Acrobat (PDF) 451kB May17 21)
This Plausibility Ranking Task (PRT), which may be completed prior to using any MELs, helps students to understand the role of evidence in supporting or refuting models.
- Plausibility Ranking Task (Acrobat (PDF) 20kB Feb8 21)
The Google Drive folder below contains MEL resource documents in the Google formats. In order to maximize the flexibility of our activities, the MEL Project Team wanted to make more resources compatible with virtual settings. We have made our MEL scaffolds available in Google formats, so that they can be copied, modified, and uploaded more easily on a variety of platforms and devices. Please note that to access all the materials for each MEL scaffold, you will need a Google account. View the README file first.
- README First Instructions & FAQ (Acrobat (PDF) 70kB May24 21)
- Virtual Freshwater baMEL Resource Documents in Google Drive
Freshwater Availability from the National Climate Assessment provides an introduction to extreme weather events, including heat waves, droughts, heavy downpours, floods, hurricanes, and other storms.