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Examining Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay: A Hands-on Sustainability Activity for 5th to 7th Graders

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Sustainability and Hands-on Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.562.1 - 24.562.9



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Paper Authors


Bradley A. Striebig James Madison University

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Dr. Striebig is a founding faculty member and first full professor in the Department of Engineering at James Madison University. Dr. Striebig came to the JMU School of from Gonzaga University where he developed the WATER program in cooperation with other faculty members. Dr. Striebig is also the former Head of the Environmental Technology Group at Penn State’s Applied Research Laboratory. In addition to Dr’ Striebig’s engineering work, he is also a published freelance photographer who has works with local and international NGOs. Dr. Striebig was the founding editor of the Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Development and an assistant editor for the Journal of Green Building.

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Stephen Keith Holland James Madison University

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Examining  water  quality  in  the  Chesapeake  Bay:     A  hands-­‐on  sustainability  activity  for  5th  to  7th  graders      A  “Green  Techfacturing”  camp  for  middle  school  students  to  promote  awareness  of  sustainability  and  STEM  education  was  conducted  during  the  summers  of  2012  and  2013.  The  camp  includes  half-­‐day  hands-­‐on  learning  activities  and  half-­‐day  field  trips  to  local  manufacturing  facilities.  The  camp  emphasizes  the  principles  of  green  engineering  that  have  been  implemented  in  local  facilities.  This  paper  will  discuss  and  demonstrate  how  the  Chesapeake  Bay  Foundation’s  water  report  card  is  used  to  discuss  water  resource  issues  and  hands-­‐on  learning  experiences  that  teach  students  about  their  water  footprint,  water  quality  and  sustainable  water  use.    Hands  on  Activities  included:  the  review  of  local  water  quality  reports;  discussion  of  local  and  global  water  resources;  review  of  regional  water  quality  issues  in  the  Chesapeake  Bay  watershed;  field  testing  Dissolved  Oxygen,  levels,  pH,  and  nutrient  levels  in  a  local  body  of  water;  a  field  trip  to  a  wastewater  treatment  facility;  and  student  presentations  about  their  learning  experiences.  The  proposed  demonstration  will  show  how  middle  school  age  students  conducted  water  testing  in  a  local  water  body  and  compared  their  results  to  the  Chesapeake  Bay  Foundation’s  “Report  Card”  on  water  quality  in  the  Bay.  Students  were  given  10  question  sustainability  surveys  prior  to  and  after  completion  of  the  camp  to  demonstrate  and  assess  camp  objectives.      

Striebig, B. A., & Holland, S. K. (2014, June), Examining Water Quality in the Chesapeake Bay: A Hands-on Sustainability Activity for 5th to 7th Graders Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20453

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