My students are in 10-12 grade. They are passionate about learning and love their community. Many of my students are involved in sports teams and work just as hard after school at practice as they do during school. I also have many students involved in drama club, speech and debate, and show choir. We live in a small community and I see my students everywhere I go, but I love it because they always stop to say hello. We live in a beautiful place and I see my students outside enjoying the weather, the beach, and hiking all the time.
My students are working in groups of 3-4 on a project that will help with a problem in our community.
We have been learning chemistry content all year. We have learned about solution concentrations and how to read water quality reports. We live in on Oahu so we have to deal with air pollution from the volcano on the neighboring island of Hawaii, and we learned how to read and do calculations about air quality reports. The students are interested in their home and how we can better support and sustain it.
My students are engaging in the scientific process throughout this project. They are working in small groups to come up with a project that solves a problem, shop within a budget for needed materials, write grant proposals, promote them until they get funded, conduct their experiments, and then report their findings. This process helps them to understand how science may happen in the real world. It also helps them build teamwork, and apply the chemistry content we learn in class to real problems in our community.
The students in these groups will be water quality test kits and bacteria test kits to check the water around our community. After reading our local water quality reports, and learning about the problem of lead pipes in older homes they recognized this a potential hazard in our community. These supplies are the supplies they decided were needed to study this issue in our community.
In Their Own Words
"Through this project, we will bring to light the amount of lead that is actually in the water we drink. The Water Quality Report tests the water from the well, but many of the pipes our water travels through before it gets to us could be made of lead and could contaminate the water. Thanks to this project, we can figure out the amount of lead in our water to prevent the harmful effects lead has on us like problems especially prominent in young children and pregnant women."
"We will all bring a sample of water from our homes and then use the materials we receive from donations to see how much lead is in our communities water. Our research group will be taking our data and conducting analysis on each sample to gather our results."
"We will make this project happen by getting funding for the materials we need. We will go out to one of our local beaches to collect sand samples. Then, we will bring awareness to our community about the bacteria that lies within the sand."
"When we get our supplies, we will obtain bacteria samples from school bathrooms and set samples in different UV lighting areas overnight, and use the bacteria kit to measure how many germs were killed by UV light compared to no light."
"Our project is important to our schools and community because it ensures that the people are drinking and using water that is safe. We also want to confirm that the water being used isn’t harmful in any way."
"Our project will raise awareness to the quality of the air we breathe at school every day. If we find that certain places in the school are unsafe, then we will raise awareness of the effects air pollution has on our health and ways to help and prevent it."
" Our project is about testing the efficiency of our school’s current cafeteria table cleaning method. We think that the place where students are eating should be kept decently sanitized. We are hoping to find out whether or not the current cleaning methods are really getting the job done. If we find that they aren’t, we hope to modify the cafeteria table cleaning process to be more effective in eliminating bacteria."
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