Are You a Water Waster?

Are You a Water Waster? Activity Source: Education Place, Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company. All rights reserved. Try this experiment to find out if you’re a water waster. Materials clean, empty, one-quart milk cartons new toothbrushes toothpaste Procedure Brush your teeth with the water running. At the same time, have another person fill the containers with the running water-until you finish brushing. Record how many quart containers are filled. Then use that information to figure out how much water your family uses to brush their teeth. [Read More]

Build a Model Aquifer

Build a Model Aquifer Activity Source: Source: Geoscientists Without Borders®, Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation. Adapted with permission. The United Nations includes clean water and sanitation in its sustainable development goals. Many places face severe water shortages. The Geoscientists Without Borders® (GWB) program supports teams to collaborate with communities to solve problems, including water shortages. GWB scientists use geophysical techniques to find underground layers of sediments or rock that contain enough water to be drilled for water wells. [Read More]

Dynamic Wetlands

Dynamic Wetlands Activity Source: Nebraska Earth Systems Education Network, School of Natural Resources By Roseanne Williby Purpose To increase student awareness of the value and importance of our wetlands Background What is a wetland? Wetlands are called one of the world’s most productive ecosystems. They produce more plant and animal life than woodlands or prairies. Characteristics, like water levels, naturally change seasonally and annually. Wetlands are in transition between aquatic and terrestrial systems where the water table is usually at or near the land surface or the land is covered by shallow water. [Read More]

Earth's Hydrologic Cycle

Earth’s Hydrologic Cycle Activity Source: Adapted from the Ocean Institute Curriculum Series Overview The ocean is the key element in Earth’s hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. Concepts The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and from one state of matter to another. [Read More]

Erosion in a Bottle

Erosion in a Bottle Activity Source: Source: Soil Science Society of America. Adapted with permission. Soil erosion is the process of moving soil by water or wind — this happens naturally or through human interference. Preventing soil erosion is important because nutrients are lost, and sediment that accumulates in waterways impacts life there. Conserving soil depends on how it is protected by plants and coverings. You will model erosion by water and compare the amounts of runoff and soil loss generated from three different ground cover types. [Read More]

Frozen Power

Frozen Power Activity Source: Source: Geological Society of America. Written by Greg McNamara, Christine V. McLelland, Gary B. Lewis, Davida Buehler, and Yueyi Che. Adapted with permission. You may be familiar with ice cubes in your favorite soda, but do you know there are very big ice cubes (scientists call them glaciers) hundreds to thousands of meters thick, lying in places with high mountains? These glaciers shaped beautiful landscapes all around the world — from Glacier National Park to Yosemite, from Patagonia in South America to the Himalayas in Asia. [Read More]

Glacier Slide

Glacier Slide Activity Source: National Park Service Objective You will be able to describe how a glacier carves an area and label the characteristics formed by the glacier’s movement. Background There are many glaciers all over Alaska. Flying into Lake Clark National Park and Preserve through Lake Clark Pass, you will see many glaciers. These glaciers were growing during the last Ice Age. Now many are retreating because Alaska is getting warmer. [Read More]

Global Change: Where Land, Air and Water Meet

Global Change: Where Land, Air and Water Meet Activity Source: USGS LearningWeb Objective The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Similarly, the world’s oceans and fresh waters contain dissolved chemicals. Many substances dispersed in air or water are measured in parts per million. Some of these substances are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet even in small quantities they can be toxic. To develop an understanding of parts per million as a concept, teams of students will create successive dilutions of a solution to reach a parts-per- million concentration. [Read More]

Groundwater Movement

Groundwater Movement Activity Source: Adapted from “The High Plains: Land of Extremes” Bureau of Land Management, 1996 Background Water that accumulates beneath the surface of the Earth is called groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground “rivers,” but is actually found in the small spaces and cracks between rocks and other material such as sand and gravel. Groundwater supplies about 38 percent of the water used for agriculture in the United States. [Read More]