2010 Enviro Summer Institute

Monday - Reflections and Images

I enjoyed the lab and the questions asked by participants. The hands-on activity will be great for elementary students. The scavenger hunt in the afternoon was another great activity that got us outside and looking for enviornmental issues that have an impact on the quality of the groundwater. Am looking forward to the testing of well water tomorrow. I found a website that has a good lesson plan for K-3. Check out www.epa.gov/safewater/kids/teacher_k-3. It has some great movement activities depicting groundwater for elementary students - also Thirstin's Wacky Water Adventures activity pages.

Tuesday - Reflections and Images

An interesting day with all the water testing using strips and Labquest. The process took longer than I expected and results were confusing at first, but became clearer with explanation from John and Carrie. Tours in the afternoon got us out and about on campus to explore happenings in the Engineering buildings. Enjoyed the talks and seeing some of the experimental process with wastewater.

Wednesday - Reflections and Images

Additional interpretation of data from the well water testing was helpful. Appreciate the use of "UNCERTAIN" instead of "WRONG" (when discussing results) - a much more positive term). My partner was Beth for the water testing so I just supplied our results while she inserted the information. It was good to spend time with teachers at the primary level to discuss problems and solutions concerning the Wellhead project. We all agreed that we would need parent volunteers or to partner with an upper grade to complete the activities. A letter from ndeRC to send home to the parents would be helpful. I would like to have the scientific terms simplified and ideas for basic water testing activities for grades K-2. Most activities could be connected to standards in Science and Math. I really enjoyed the tours in the afternoon. Could easily relate to the issues and lab experiments to the Enviro Institute.

Thursday - Reflections and Images
Read the article and very much agree that our students are not getting outside to explore their surroundings. She provided us with some excellent resources. John spoke of the orchaard tht he has created with his students, the benefits, and some of the problems he has encountered with his project.Who would not want to take the studnts to Prairie Woods nature Farm!!! A wonderful opportunity for young children t connect with nature. Finally,

Friday - Reflections and Images
Enjoyed our final hands on activity and believe that it can be utilized at the primary level in conjunction with the groundwater activity from Monday. The symposium was an excellent way to end the week and get additional ideas from other educators.

Symposium Presentation
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The tour of the Engineering building was amazing even though the research being done is way over my head. The testing with the wastewater introduced us to lab situations which seem to be cramped. I cannot imagine doing that long term. Just proves their dedication and commitment. The reasearchers also seem to be resourceful as one grad student makes her own glass probes since the ones provided are so expensive. But that is not always the case with equipment as we found out the next day!

Wednesday's tours at Lamberti and Lodge were even more interesting as I could see a greater connection to the environment. The first stream ecologist is working with fish, bugs and contaiminants. Appreciated the chance to look through the microscopes. Next stop was working with stream nutrients and again you could sense their enthusiasm in their work. His comments about the Gulf Coast were fascinating and John also questioned him concerning lawsuits by the "Shrimpers" against the Midwest Farmers. Next stop held my attention as I am aware of invasive species in our area, but was somewhat disappointed that their focus lleans towards prevention more than eradicaion. Low cost equipment in this setting. Final scientist is studying the historical effects on the environment, specifically the global warming trend in relation to plant life. Am not sure why they need to exaimine so many of one species. Overall, the lab tours were educational and I understand the need for educators to be aware of all the opportunities for students who express an interest in careers with STEM.


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