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PBL: Water Quality

Friday, March 20, 2015


Water quality


6.1 The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations in which

    1. observations are made involving fine discrimination between similar objects and organisms;
    2. precise and approximate measurements are recorded;
    3. scale models are used to estimate distance, volume, and quantity;
    4. hypotheses are stated in ways that identify the independent and dependent variables;
    5. a method is devised to test the validity of predictions and inferences;
    6. one variable is manipulated over time, using many repeated trials;
    7. data are collected, recorded, analyzed, and reported using metric measurements and tools;
    8. data are analyzed and communicated through graphical representation;
    9. models and simulations are designed and used to illustrate and explain phenomena and systems; and
    10. current applications are used to reinforce science concepts.


6.4 The student will investigate and understand that all matter is made up of atoms. Key concepts include

d) two or more atoms interact to form new substances, which are held together by electrical forces (bonds);

e) compounds may be represented by chemical formulas;

f) chemical equations can be used to model chemical changes; and a limited number of elements comprise the largest portion of the solid Earth, living matter, the oceans, and the atmosphere.

6.5 The student will investigate and understand the unique properties and characteristics of water and its roles in the natural and human-made environment. Key concepts include
  1. water as the universal solvent;
  2. the properties of water in all three phases;
  3. the action of water in physical and chemical weathering;
  4. the ability of large bodies of water to store thermal energy and moderate climate;
  1. the importance of protecting and maintaining water resources.
Living Systems

6.7 The student will investigate and understand the natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems. Key concepts include

  1. the health of ecosystems and the abiotic factors of a watershed;

c. divides, tributaries, river systems, and river and stream processes;

d. wetlands;

f major conservation, health, and safety issues associated with watersheds; and

g. water monitoring and analysis using field equipment including hand-held technology

Earth Resources

6.9 The student will investigate and understand public policy decisions relating to the environment. Key concepts include

c) the mitigation of land-use and environmental hazards through preventive measures; and

d) cost/benefit tradeoffs in conservation policies.

The impact of an environmental crisis in the form of a hazardous spill in the City of Radford and its surrounding New River Watershed
Problem question
How can we minimize the possibilities and mitigate the effects of environmental disasters on th New River watershed?
Due to Radford's proximity to the New River, interstate 81, and the railroad lines, Radford's commission on Environmental Quality has determined that a filtration system to protect the ground and surface water needs to be developed. Because of the multiple disaster scenarios , many solutions need to be posed.
Student Role
Students, as members of Engineers for planning and Mitigation of Environmental Disasters, work together to research and propose pro-active solutions.
Culminating Activity

Share your findings and proposals for solutions with Radford's Commission on Environmental Quality and Radford City Administrators.

download.jpgBelle Heth - 6th - Water Quality PBL Unit Overview.pdf

Question Map:


download.jpgBelle Heth - 6th - Water Quality PBL Unit Question Map.pdf

by Science Generalist at 5:21 PM in Elementary, Earth and Space Science, Problem Based Learning/PBL, Life Science
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