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The AMBIENT curriculum water module is comprised of a number of segments. Some of these segments can be taught independently and others are meant to be used together in a certain order. The segments are presented roughly in order of planned presentation although it is noted when a segment can be skipped or used out of order. Each segment begins with a cover sheet for teachers describing its;
The following is a description of the segments and instructions on how teachers can use them to best suit their interests and the time they have allotted to the module.
· Various TV News reports of the actual sewer pipe break incident resulting in microbial pollution of recreational waters.
· This document contains the basic factual information about water quality necessary to knowledgeably lead class discussions and guide students' research efforts. It also outlines, by topic, relevant module segments, websites and articles provided with the curriculum. This should be read through before the teacher begins the module with the students. The water primer also contains a glossary which contains definitions for scientific and conceptual terms used in the module. Teachers may want to define these terms with the students as they come up in the module or use them as a starting point for discussion.
· The scenario focuses on an actual sewage spill and the potential impact to beach water quality after the spill. The scenario is the core of the unit around which the activities are developed. Students will generate questions, develop a research plan, read critically, and learn to organize research material as part of the scenario exercise. Students will also share information with others and work in a group.
· Microbial contamination of water can be an issue for both marine and freshwater sources. This exercise will require students to research the possible sources and human health effects of microbes found in recreational and drinking water. This will enable students to explore the range of negative outcomes of contact with contaminated recreational and drinking water by creating their own crossword puzzle using their new vocabulary and concepts.
· As part of a field experience, students visit a sewage treatment plant. Students prepare for the field experience by reading through the provided “sewage matrix” worksheet and complete the questions either individually or as a class. Additional research helps students complete the questions left unanswered by the tour.
· The laboratory exercises developed through this module are designed to illustrate the characteristics of microbes. The first set of laboratory exercises focuses on illustrating what microbes look like. The next exercise is designed to introduce students to the classification of microbes by using a taxonomic key. The third set of labs illustrate the ability of microbes to grow or die-off under different environmental conditions. And the final set of experiments focus on evaluating the diffusion and dilution of microbes as they move (at the molecular level) through water.
Led Demonstration -- Teachers will grow yeast (a
– In this activity, learners will observe and compare the molecular
movement within water at various temperatures and of varying salinity.
· This is a classroom exercise in which spatial data of the movement of a sewage spill through the coastal environment and various influential factors are presented. The kids are expected to analyze the visual data and to make predictions about where the sewage spill will distribute, given various environmental factors. A map of showing actual sewage beach monitoring data can then be superimposed on the tidal maps to "test" their hypotheses.
· The highlight of this activity is a field trip to a local beach. The purpose of the field trip is to determine the amount of solid waste (e.g. cigarette butts) found on the beach. Students will learn how to gather and organize data during this activity. They will also utilize math skills to estimate accumulation of waste on the beach. Students as a result of this exercise will be able to identify sources of pollution, apply their math skills, and develop recommendations for a solution to the problem.
· This exercise consists of a set of three articles. One focuses on the high costs and other practical limitations associated with improving the sanitary system of the Florida Keys. The second is a somewhat humorous article that focuses on the need to ultimately dispose of sewage. The third article focuses on the negative impacts of increased development of the Florida Keys which results in the need to dispose more sewage. As part of this scenario, students are asked to critically review each article and write an essay that focuses on the student’s interpretation of the sewage disposal problem.
· This exercise focuses on a passionate story about a man’s lifetime experiences within the Florida Keys. It focuses on how the Keys have changed with increased urbanization and pollution. After reading this story, the students will be asked to write about a place that they enjoy.
The role-play debate serves as a challenging conclusion to the module.
Students will use their accumulated factual knowledge and knowledge
of current events to engage in the current debate about the extent of
the sewage spill problem and the merits of possible solutions. A variety
of roles are suggested representing the many sides of this complex issue.
Students will prepare presentations to support their position on the