Sixth-grade students waded into deep waters – metaphorically speaking – during a recent hands-on science lesson.
Students created their own water filters in order to test the water in Whitney Lake and separate the contents. Science teacher Steve Jewett collected a couple of buckets of water from the local lake for the classroom experiment.
Besides creating their own water filters, students engaged in a visual analysis of color clarity and particulate matter. They also took part in a “hardness” test that involved a few drops of soap and a test tube. According to Mr. Jewett, “the higher the suds, the lower the hardness or mineral content.”
For their do-it-yourself filters, students used household items such as gauze, cloth, coffee filters, screens, gravel, sand, charcoal, paper towels, plastic bottles, Saran Wrap, and used coffee pods.
“The design-thinking process involved in activities like this are so important to our young scientists’ development and learning,” maintained Mr. Jewett.
The Grade 6 science curriculum serves as a bridge between the expectations of the Lower School and the rigors of Middle and Upper School. The water unit project includes the development of such skills as observation, measurement, data collection, and interpretation, all of which will be necessary for future science courses.
Lower School Director Lorri Carroll noted that these types of hands-on projects enhance the overall learning process and lend themselves to authentic experiences in the classroom.
“Experiential learning projects are so important to help engage students and create curiosity over basic elements – like in this case water,” said Mrs. Carroll.