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Thursday May 16, 2019 at 3:31pm Age: 41 days
Category: Intermediate, District

COUNTY PROGRAM TEACHES SCIENCE OF WATER TO MVIS FOURTH-GRADERS


How much water makes up planet Earth? How much water comes through your showerhead per minute? How much water does it take to make a chocolate bar?

Fourth-graders at Minisink Valley Intermediate School found surprising answers to these and other questions during a three-lesson program on water conservation facilitated by the Orange County Water Authority, May 13-16.

Through visual and thought-provoking presentations, group problem-solving, hands-on activities and games, students gained new understanding of this most critical resource to the planet and their daily lives.

Of particular interest was clear-glass, water-table model. A blue dye is poured into the model to demonstrate how water travels and permeates through underground layers of clay and sand to form wells.

Students also learned about the natural water cycle, and the “people water-cycle”—the processes and technology involved in delivering clean water to homes and businesses, before it’s returned to the environment.

Most popular was a water-cycle game consisting of nine stations representing places where water undergoes transformation—from bodies of water to living beings. Stopping at each station, students picked up color-coded beads representing water drops. With the roll of a dice, the “water drops” learned were to travel next: from clouds, to oceans; from plants to animals. Weaved into a bracelet, the color-coded beads tell a water-cycle story the students will now write and illustrate.

“I really liked to learn about water. I had no idea there were so many different layers of soil underground,” said Emma Berkshire in Pam Carr’s class. “It was fun to see how water travels faster or slower through those layers, but my favorite session was the water-cycle game because we got to make something.”

While the water conservation lessons are part of the fourth-grade science curriculum, the program crosses over disciplines such as math and writing, and requires the use of core 21st-century skills like critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication.