Engaging students in conducting basic monitoring of their local water bodies through the World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC)

Learning Objectives

  • To build awareness and involvement in protecting water resources by engaging students in conducting basic monitoring of their local waterbodies.
  • Make students aware of the impact their behaviors have on water quality.
  • Encourage students in further participation in more formal citizen monitoring efforts.

Standards Addressed

PA Science Standards

3.3.7.A4 - Differentiate among Earth’s water systems.
3.3.7.A6. MODELS/SCALES - Locate significant geological structures using various mapping representations.
3.3.12A CONSTANCY/CHANGE - Infer how human activities may impact the natural course of Earth’s cycles
4.2.8.A - Describe factors that affect the quality of ground and surface waters
4.2.10.A - Examine the interactions between abiotic and biotic factors within a watershed

NGSS Standards

MS-ESS2-4: Global movements of water and its changes in form are propelled by sunlight and gravity.
MS-ESS2.C: Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land.
MS-ESS3-3 - Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing human impact on the environment

Supplies/Materials/Articles Needed

A World Water Monitoring Challenge test kit, or equipment that allows you to measure the following water properties with your students: temperature (water and air), dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH

Preparation Time Needed

Time should be spent ensuring that enough testing supplies are available for students to get hands-on with the water samples. Teachers are strongly encouraged to scope out the testing site(s) to ensure ease of students obtaining the water for samples and their safety.

Class Time Required

Teachers should prepare for instruction time in the classroom to go over how to do the tests, what the tests show, and safety in the field. Teachers may want to have students make their claim for what they will test in the classroom, or wait until they reach the field site. Time for transportation to/from school should be factored in. Testing time in the field may be a little as a half hour, or longer, depending upon how many sites and how many tests teachers have students perform.

Activity Description

The World Water Monitoring Challenge™ (WWMC) is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens in the monitoring of their local waterbodies. This activity has students test their own local water bodies (pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, temperature) and contribute their findings to a global database for use by scientists and other students across the globe. Reporting data to the program’s database allows you to share your experiences with others in your community and keep a yearly record of your monitoring test results.

While an official World Water Monitoring “Day” continues to be observed each year on September 18, the broader “Challenge” encourages everyone to test the quality of their waterways and share their findings online at anytime annually from March 22 until December 31.

Teachers need to visit the website to register their local site and purchase a test kit, or use equipment already available to them at their school. The attached files include supporting materials to introduce water testing, the meaning of the results, and how to set up an experiment using Claims-Evidence-Reasoning (CER).