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Students develop water filtration systems

Mrs. Donelson’s Earth and Environmental classes evaluated the issue of clean, usable drinking water in various regions around the globe.  Nearly 1 million children go without clean drinking water and many suffer constant illness from contaminants such as bacteria and parasites as well as toxic chemicals.

Students were divided into groups and chose regions from the Amazon Basin, India, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania, and Asia that were known to be lacking access to clean drinking water.

Students researched their chosen area of the world to identify the current crisis, types of contaminants found in the water sources, current efforts to improve the water quality, and known methods for removal of the contaminants found to be an issue in those areas. 

After completing their research, students were tasked with developing a water filtration system that could be used by one or more individuals in any of these communities to improve the portability of the water.

Students were told to develop a product that used recycled, reusable, or biodegradable materials and required no permanent energy source other than one that could be obtained through alternative means such as solar, wind, geothermal or biofuel. 

The outcome was a myriad of water filtration products that the students were proud to display and demonstrate for students and staff in a water quality fair during all lunches in the commons area. 

Following the water quality fair, the students were asked to interview each other about their products. Brock Peeler asked Ben Long, “Did anyone drink your water?” Ben replied, “Everyone was begging to drink our water. About 20 people had the opportunity to taste the water, including myself.”

Alex Popescu asked Steven Cooper “How do you feel about the project?” Steven replied, “I feel accomplished because my group worked very hard to create a product to help people across the world.”

Ariel Latham’s group created a device that utilized a football as the housing, when asked “why a football?” she replied, “we wanted to include something that was able to not only improve their water quality, but also, improve their overall well-being through activity.”

Overall, Mrs. Donelson says this project was a great success and she was extremely impressed by the amount of effort the students put forth into this project.  

Written by: Ms. Tanja Donelson, Science Teacher
Posted: May 13, 2015 by Anna Waldrup

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