This unit is designed to enable students to be advocates of local waters in an effort to preserve this commodity for future generations, and to teach them how important it is for them to take measures to ensure that water is safe for their lifetime and beyond.
The objectives for this curriculum unit will begin with students being made aware of the water cycle and how such a small percent of water is actually usable for consumption. They will become aware of how nature purifies water through filtration, sedimentation, and distillation. They will be introduced to water pollutants. Students will research where pesticides used in agriculture eventually end up, which industries use rivers for dumping toxins or cooling their machines, and discover which organisms are affected by such pollution.
Activities for students include the maintenance of logs, teamwork, and the development and dissemination of public awareness materials. They will collaborate with students from neighboring schools and other communities in an effort to get them involved in preserving waterways. Students will recognize that what happens in our local waters will directly impact those downstream from us and all rivers and tributaries in this area that lead to Long Island Sound.
After completing this unit, students will be able to successfully produce public awareness information, communicate to the public about changing behaviors, and teach other students in neighboring communities about what has been done and what can be done to bring about changes in attitudes toward the precious commodity known as water.
(Developed for Middle School Science, grade 6; recommended for Middle School Science Course, grades 5-6)