Groundwater ModelMy Indiviual Well Report

2010 Enviro Summer Institute

Monday - The first day provided a nice intro as to what the workshop was all about. There was some basic background information provided about groundwater and about how groundwater can become contaminated/what contaminants are often found in groundwater.

The room was freezing cold today! C'mon Notre Dame, we have to conserve some energy on the a/c.

Also went for a scavenger hunt today. I believed Carrie when she said it was a "short walk." I was tricked. Lol. =)
Wouldn't have minded the walk if I knew I should have worn walking shoes. Unfortunately I wore flip flops...flip flops that allowed me to feel every rock and hard thing under my feet. Poor feet. =(

I am excited to take a sample from my well water for tomorrow. I just bought a house last year that is supposed to have city water inside and well water outside. I wonder how my well water will test?!?!

Tuesday - Brought in my well water sample. My well water did better than I thought it would! (PHEW)!
Nitrate = 1ppm, Phosphate = 5 ppm, Hardness = 425 ppm, Chloride = 74 ppm, PH = 7ish
Now I'm just wondering about the acceptable levels for phosphate and chloride - I couldn't find anything in our ENVIRO materials.
It was interesting to see the difference in results from the LabQuest tests to the actual test strips we used for our water samples.

Went on a tour of some different types of engineering buildings today. The new engineering building was very nice, but I wasn't quite sure how it totally tied in with groundwater. The second civil engineering building seemed to relate more to what we have been talking about in the workshop.

It was nice to be able to get some exercise. I wore my walking shoes today. =)

Wednesday - Data anylisis in the computer lab was nice, but was a lengthy process. I would've liked to have more time to enter information on my Wiki.
Questions on the worksheet about possible implementation problems within different grade levels was a bit repetitive. Many questions had the same answers.
Did not really enjoy the lab tours today. The Demetri lab was interesting, although I felt a bit clostrophobic in there. Our speaker was humorous and knew how talk in terms we all could understand. The other lab was too lengthy and the speaker kept going on and on. I felt antsy. It seemed like a long time to stand in a small room.

Thursday - Today was probably one of the most enjoyable workshop days. I really enjoyed learning about the Prairie Winds Nature Farm. I would love to take my class on a trip there this year, but I'm not sure I'll be able to get the funding for transportation. I would love the opportunity to have my class experience that though! I think it would be a great place to take my son when he's a little older. =)
We prepared E. Coli plates today. That was a fun process. I'm excited to see how things turn out. I'm predicting that there will be A LOT of E. Coli in the river/lake samples. There might be some E.Coli present in John's water sample. I am also predicting that the water sanitizing tablets will sufficiently kill off enough E. Coli to make the water safe.

Friday - Reflections and Images

Symposium Presentation

1. Class Unit Enrichment Activities and your Classroom: Ground Water Model System, Guided Outside Hike, Landfill Models (Friday morning)
2. Wellhead Protection-Water Testing and related pedagogy issues.
3. Wellhead Protection-Data Management and related pedagogy issues
4. Lab Tours
5. Place-Based Education

1) I found some good videos that I would like to show to my class to demonstrate the water cycle/model. (See videos below).
I enjoyed the outside hike, although I wish I had known beforehand so that I could wear appropriate shoes. It would be nice to take my kids on a guided "hike" but that would be more like a field trip for my class, and it can be difficult to get the adults needed to go outside to supervise. It would be really nice to take my class on the ND guided hike with the help of several parents. It was nice how the hike was set up to bring up several groundwater issues.

2) I really enjoyed doing the water testing, but I would have to rely on parents of my students to take well water samples for their child. There is definitely a technology issue at my school. Many of the families at my school do not have computers or digital cameras. It would be harder and more frustrating to have to rely on parents to do their part. I do think that pictures of water sampling would help verify where water came from, and would make the Wiki page look a lot nicer of course. I would probably rather have teachers go out and get samples of water for my class to test since I can rely on other teachers more so than parents.

3) It was interesting to learn what a wellhead protection area was. The data menagement for first graders would be pretty complicated in terms of the students understanding their results. It might be nice to work with small groups and discuss data on a certain element (ex: nitrate) and what the results mean or maybe even do a whole group demo and talking about results that way.
It can be difficult to explain to children what ph is, or how water can be "hard." These terms are not very concrete for young children.

4) Some of the tours didn't seem to fit into what ENVIRO was learning about. It would have been nice if all of the speakers could use terms we could all understand. If taking a class on a lab tour, it would be nice to know ahead of time that the speaker can speak in easy to understand terms.

5) Loved learning more about place-based education. I understand the importance of it and would love to be able to do more of it, however it can be very hard to do (monetary/supervisory/time issues). is a site where teachers can request materials for projects they might like to start.


Bristol Elementary

Grade Levels


No. of Students



Sampling my well water.


Well X-Trol System in my basement


East of water source.


Links to Well Reports

My Individual Well Report -


Water Cycle Video - Groundwater model

Teacher Comments/Reflections

ENVIRO Educator Comments/Reflections


Parental Feedback


Colleagues Participating in ENVIRO

At Our School

Carol Freihofer

At Other Schools