June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.1123.1 - 23.1123.12
Sustainable Water: Development, Delivery and Assessment of K-5 ModulesDuring the summer of 2012, a recently awarded National Science Foundation EngineeringResearch Center (ERC) paired with a university K-5 outreach program to bring cutting-edgetopics in urban water systems to local elementary classrooms. The ERC is an interdisciplinaryand multi-institutional collaboration between academic, non-profit and industrial partners withthe goal of transforming urban water infrastructure into more sustainable systems. As thepurpose of the Center is to apply technological and socio-economic advancements in engineeredand natural treatment systems to create sustainable urban water infrastructure, public outreachand education is essential to its success. The ERC thus requires each member of the center toparticipate in outreach and education, and each university is partnered with local K12 schools.The university K-5 outreach program pairs graduate students in math, physics, and engineeringwith K-5 elementary school teachers in a local school district. During the school year, thegraduate students, known as fellows, assist the teachers in their classrooms ten to fifteen hoursper week. The fellow acts as a math and science expert and assists with the instruction andunderstanding of these subjects. The fellows have some flexibility in their efforts, allowing themto bring in experiments and demos, arrange for professionals or experts to visit the classroom,plan science fairs, orchestrate field trips to the ERC campus, or run an after school science club.The program also includes a two week workshop in the summer that is mandatory training for allof the elementary teachers and graduate fellows participating in the program. This workshop isan opportunity for faculty and graduate students from the university to share their expertise andperform outreach related to their research areas. During this workshop, elementary schoolteachers learn advanced science topics, receive instructional materials (with guidance) to takeback to their classrooms, and get to know their designated graduate fellow.During two days (four two-hour sessions) of the 2012 Workshop, the ERC group introducedwater sustainability topics to the participating K-5 teachers. ERC faculty, graduate students, andfellows associated with the outreach program collaborated in teams to develop and present thelectures, lessons, and demos for each session/module. The four modules were “Natural Systems,”“Water Cycle and Water Treatment,” “Water Conservation and Re-use,” and “Taste Test andHungry Bugs.” The modules covered a wide range of water topics including the water cycle,conventional drinking water treatment, biological treatment of water and wastewater, and waterconservation, illustrated through fun and exploratory activities such as bottled vs. tap watertasting, edible aquifer parfaits, a “hungry bugs” game, and swabbing and culturing microbes.During the workshop, teachers were asked to provide feedback every two days on thepresentations they attended. They were also given a multiple choice pre- and post-test on thecontent of the sessions to evaluate how effective each presenter was at communicating theirinformation. Results of these assessments, together with feedback from the use of the lessons inthe elementary classrooms during the fall semester, will be presented.
Wing, A. D., & Hibbard, C., & Strong, J., & Drewes, J. E., & Munakata-Marr, J. (2013, June), Sustainable Water: Development, Delivery and Assessment of K-5 Modules Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22508
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