2010 Enviro Summer Institute

Monday - The groundwater gravel and contamination model was a good visual as to the location of groundwater, however, I would utilize this activity as a demonstration rather than a true lab. This would be a good visual demonstration as an introduction to groundwater. The scavenger hunt was interesting and allowed the participants to be aware of a variety of water sources and contaminants throughout campus. As a participant, I would have appreciated a prior warning to dress appropriately for such an involved outdoor activity.

Tuesday - Today we did strip tests and probe tests of known water samples and the well water samples participants had collected from their homes that morning. The actual testing was interesting as I had no prior experience using the Labquest probes. The testing is an activity I feel my high school students would enjoy, however I do have concerns regarding other aspects of this lab.
Concern #1 - Access to well water sources. The majority of my students live in the city and I am concerned with the number of students that would be able to collect well water.
Concern #2 - Cameras. I am not sure my students have cameras to capture images of them collecting well water. Also, I know that I do not have enough cameras in my classroom to take images of every test result from every student. Even if I was able to capture all of the images needed, I do not have the capacity to download such a large number of images.
Concern #3 - Access to wikis. Unfortunately, only a small number of my students have computer access outside of school. Even within my building, access to computers is limited and unreliable. Also, I am not always to access wikis at school.
Concern #4 - Relation of this activity in regards to the Indiana Biology I standards. I feel this activity would require quite a bit of instructional time and I am unsure if I can validate spending so much time on an activity not in my content standards.

Wednesday - Wellhead Class Unit Pedagogy Session Responses
Problem #1 Test Strip Accuracy
- Do the readings as a group with an online timer
- Create a practice lab in which students use test strips prior to the actual test strip lab
Problem #2 Students do not bring enough well samples
- Test city water
- Test water found throughout the school building
- Have Notre Dame bring in well water samples
Problem #3 Managing students during groundwater model
- Teacher should do this model as a demo only as an introduction to groundwater and contamination
Problem #4 Students not getting reliable pictures of hemselves taking well water samples.
- Have Notre Dame provide the well water samples so students do not need to take and upload pictures
Problem #5 Management of test strips
- Create a laminated labeled template for students to put test strips upon
Problem #6 Managing all of the labquests, sensors, and equipment
- Probes and other equipment stays in place at the lab stations while students rotate from station to station
- Precalibrate probes for students
Problem #7 Students do not have access to computers to input data
- Send written results to Notre Dame
- Give extra credit to students who input data
Problem #8 Well water testing does not fit into standards
- Pass this assignment on to Earth Science class where this activity is more relevant to the standards
Other problems/concerns
- Even computer lab access does not guarantee access to wikis
- More specific directions are needd for the lab (specifically the probes)
- Students are not allowed to bring cameras to school or to use cell phones in school

Thursday - This morning's activities included a variety of guest speakers sharing various ways teachers can bring nature and ecology into their classrooms. I found these speakers particularly beneficial because they presented information that appealed to a variety of classrooms and grade levels.

Friday - Refer to Symposium Powerpoint "How ENVIRO Institute benefits inner-city high school students".

Symposium Presentation


Clay High School

Grade Levels


No. of Students




Links to Well Reports




Teacher Comments/Reflections


ENVIRO Educator Comments/Reflections


Parental Feedback


Colleagues Participating in ENVIRO

At Our School


At Other Schools