10 years and up.

Students first observe how water and contaminants, represented by a groundwater dye, flow through different soils. Then, using provided scenarios, they create a groundwater model using a variety of soils in a plexiglass shell. Students contaminate their model—simulating road salt, fertilizer runoff, buried waste, chemical spills, etc.—and measure the concentration of the contaminant at different points in their model.

The scenario’s storylines help further students’ thinking about the ways in which groundwater contamination is tested, and health aspects related to contaminated groundwater. This activity stresses measurement, health, and the recording of data.

This activity is appropriate for children studying environmental conditions that involve aquifers and wells, and the issues of pollution.

Due to the nature of the models used and the re-set time needed, we require 48 hours between sessions of Groundwater.