Written by: Dr. Mary Starr
World Water Day provides us the opportunity to take a moment to observe and to act to maintain water resources. Water challenges - from global wetland preservation, to pollution in agriculture and manufacturing, to water conservation - should be a focus of World Water Day. Since we all need clean water resources, the importance of the day is clear.
Understanding the challenges of clean water for humans and other animals requires learning about potential water hazards and how to identify them; how water moves and interacts with the land, and how organisms use and change water quality. This learning doesn?t come just from observation - if that were the case then we would have cleaner water resources. The time surrounding World Water Day provides a great opportunity to deeply explore water as a resource and water quality as an environmental issue.
Our Project-Based Inquiry Science (PBIScience) unit, Living Together, delivers a great project-based opportunity for students to explore water quality in their community, as well as use what they learn about water quality challenges in several other locations to make a recommendation about changes to a community.
The idea that people and changes to communities can change water quality and affect quality of life and access to clean water for all organisms is the focus of the unit. By the end of the experience, students can answer the question ?How does water quality affect the ecology of a community?? Furthermore, they can argue from evidence that humans are consistently challenged to balance many competing needs.
Dr. Mary Starr
Exec. Director, Michigan Math and Science Centers Network
President, Starr and Associates