Curriculum

How Can We Provide Freshwater to Those in Need?

How Can We Provide Freshwater to Those in Need?

How Can We Provide Freshwater to Those in Need? is part of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, a new curriculum series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is aligned to a group of grade 5 standards. It has a focus on engineering design, with a secondary focus on Earth and space science. In this module, students:

  • Define the problem of human’s need for freshwater and the limited amount of freshwater available
  • Develop a model to show how human activities interact with components of the Earth’s system to cause groundwater pollution
  • Design, test, and evaluate different solutions for treating contaminated water
  • Use a digital simulation to design and test a solution to the problem of water scarcity
  • Communicate two perspectives on the causes and effects of an environmental crisis
  • Design, test, and evaluate a solution to pump, treat, and allocate water in a particular town

Below are digital resources that support teaching of this module. 

Lesson 1: H2GO

Water Matrix
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This file shows images that highlight real-world freshwater issues, problem, solutions, and experiences.

California Snowpack
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This file shows California snowpack over a 3-year period.

H2GO Criteria and Constraints
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This file has criteria and constraints for the problem of moving water a short distance.

Lesson 2: Water Footprint

My Water Footprint Example
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This file shows how to complete the My Water Footprint homework.

Food Sources Water Footprint
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This file shows the amount of water necessary to produce common food sources.

Lesson 3: Our Water Picture

Create a Graph
https://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/
This website allows students to select a graph, input data, label, and share their findings.

Lesson 4: Water Scarcity Explored

Groundwater Video
https://carolinascienceonline.com
This video can be found on Carolina Science Online at the link above. If you have purchased this module, you have an access code that should be activated as soon as possible. If you are having trouble finding your code or logging in, please contact cso_support@carolina.com.

Earth’s Major Groundwater Reservoirs
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/depletion_labels.jpg
This website shows all of the Earth’s major groundwater reservoirs.

Public Service Announcement Examples
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This file shows examples of public service announcements.

Lesson 5: Water Pump

Water Pump Criteria and Constraints
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This file has criteria and constraints for the problem of moving water upward.

Lesson 7: Water Web

Profiles of Scientists
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/blogs/secretlife/video-profiles/
This website contains profiles of scientists.

History: Anacostia River – Back to the Future
http://anacostia.si.edu/Resources/Reclaiming-the-Edge.pdf
This website helps students understand the community involvement with the Anacostia River and its watershed.

Lesson 8: Clean the Water—Design It

What’s Inside a Water Filter?
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This video shows the inside of a water filter.

Arsenic in Pakistan Groundwater
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/pakistan-arsenic-laced-groundwater-puts-60-million-people-risk-180964636/
This website contains an article that describes the problem of arsenic in the groundwater in Pakistan.

Lesson 10: Aquation

Aquation
https://ssec.si.edu/aquation
Play the web version of Aquation or download the game from this website to a device. 

Aquation Basics
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This file describes the basics of the Aquation game.

Aquation: Transferring Water and Wealth
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This file describes how to transfer water and wealth in the Aquation game.

Lesson 11: Unintended Consequences—Read All About It!

Aral Sea Water Balance
http://www.ciesin.org/docs/006-238/tab1.gif
This website gives the average annual water balances for the Aral Sea from 1926 to 1985.

Lesson 12: Unintended Consequences—Write All About It!

Interactive Printing Press
http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/printing-press-30036.html?tab=4
This website contains an interactive printing press to create a newspaper.

Today’s Front Pages
http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/
This website contains a gallery of today’s front pages from newspapers across the country.

Aral Sea Resources
https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/aral-sea-exploring-change-over-time-with-satellite-imagery/feRuUz32bUFPPbw6#r
This website provides a collection of maps, satellite images, and magazine articles about the Aral Sea.

History of the Aral Sea
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/aral-sea-pretty-much-gone-180952914/?no-ist
This website contains an article that describes the history of the Aral Sea.

Lesson 13: Design Challenge—Water Ready?

Model for Summative Written Assessment Q2
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This file contains a model to answer question #2 in the summative written assessment.

Stakeholder Descriptions
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This file gives descriptions of stakeholders involved in the design challenge.

Lesson 15: Design Challenge—Live System Test

Preparing for a Water Emergency
https://www.ready.gov/water
This website describes how to prepare a water supply kit for an emergency.

Kit Tips & Tricks