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Groundwater Pollution Detectives

Water pumpTeams of students in grades 5 to 7 locate a contaminant spill in a hypothetical site by measuring the pH of soil samples. They then predict the direction of groundwater flow using mathematical modeling and use the engineering design process to come up with alternative treatments for the contaminated water.

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Activity: Eyewitness to Evaporation

dust bowlIn this week-long activity, student teams in grades 5 – 7 study the effects of evaporation by observing and measuring the ongoing evaporation of water in pans that contain soil or other variables, then then assess what factors may affect evaporation.

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Students Converge to Talk Water

Children Get Fresh Water from the US NavyThree rivers run through Pittsburgh, so it is blessed with an abundance of potable water. But 3 billion people across the globe, nearly half the world’s population, don’t have ready access to fresh water. That was the lesson driven home to 550 high school students at a recent daylong tutorial sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.

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Feature: Preparing for Rising Sea Levels

If all burning of fossil fuels were to cease tomorrow, the build-up of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is still severe enough that in 2100, we are still looking at a world at least several degrees warmer than during the pre-industrial era. That warming brings with it certain hazards – droughts, the spread of infectious diseases, the extinction of species. One hazard in particular will require an engineering response: the rise of sea levels.

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Website: Water Education Resources, US Geological Survey

The Water Resources of the United States Website of the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of the Interior, provides a rich offering of online resources, including water education posters in downloadable jpg and pdf, as well as for-purchase physical forms; numerous pages on related water topics, such as Water Science for Schools; archived video lectures; Web links; and more.

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