2010 Enviro Summer Institute

Monday - Reflections and Images
Introduction to STEM and ENVIRO Institute.
Classroom activity to familiarize students with concept of water table and how pollution spreads. (Gravel, food coloring, spray bottle)
Introduction to WIKI, set up account.
Afternoon scavenger hunt around campus. Identified runoff drains, as well as contaminants (ducks). The outflow from the water treatment plant was interesting, bubbling up under water.

Tuesday - Reflections and Images
Tested water samples for nitrates, chloride, pH and hardness. Used strip tests and lab units. Tested well water samples. Found out that my water at home has high nitrates, 13.4. Higher than 10 is unsafe for infants. We don't drink our well water.
This testing activity will tie in well before my water filtration/environmental engineering unit. I can see my 5th graders doing these tests. I will plan to enlist parent helpers to assist with following directions and accuracy in readings, but overall my students could do this activity.
Afternoon tour of new engineering building and environmental engineering lab.

Wednesday - Reflections and Images
Morning - review of data collected yesterday, explaination of possible reasons why some results were off.
Input data and photos onto Wellhead Wiki.
Afternoon lab tours - stream lab, invasive species,

Thursday - Reflections and Images
Great information on place-based lessons and activities, and opportunities in our area. Also waste water systems.
Prairie Winds Nature Farm. Hoosier Environmental Council. New Prairie orchard.

Friday - Reflections and Images

Symposium Presentation

Data management:

Data management, especially inputing information onto the wiki, caused some concern. Many teachers are concerned about having students navigate the wiki. For teachers with contained classes that may only have four or five groups, teacher inputting is likely the most efficient means of sharing the data. High school students may be able to do the data input if computers are available. Middle schools may find data input probematic.
Taking pictures and uploading them seems daunting. Younger students will need help with taking photos of water collection. Involving parents will be valuable at this level. Parents may need to be involved with taking the pictures and emailing them to the teacher. During the testing, students should be able to take pictures of test strips, although they may need to see sample photos for guidance and the teacher, or parent helpers or a very savvy student should download from the camera. The teacher should probably upload the photos to the wiki.

I would provide a simplified data collection sheet for my 5th grade students. Ideally I would have one adult helper for each student group. I would either input the data myself or train a parent to do it for all groups.

Data Analysis: Older students should be able to conduct some basic data analysis - graphing, computing mean, median, mode and range, and making generalizations of the data. Teachers will need to know some of the basics of the data. For example why the hardness numbers were so different from the strip test to the LabQuest. We will need to be able to explain that to our students. It will be good for students to know what nitrates, chloride, and pH are and why is it important to know how much is in the water. (Many students will have heard about hard/soft water, but it should still be explained.) It would be helpful for students to understand the meaning of the data. For example, what does a 10 mean for nitrates? Is a pH of 5 good or bad (what is acidic and alkaline?)?


Heritage Intermediate School
Middlebury, IN

Grade Levels


No. of Students





Links to Well Reports

,http://wellhead.michianastem.org/Institute1 Wellhead Protection



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