Water Pollution Models for Science

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PDF (7 MB|33 pages)
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This hands-on activity is designed to allow students to model water pollution (non-point-source pollution) in the classroom. Using simple materials, like paper plates and drink mix, kids get a little dirty and hands on. This lesson goes great with units on watersheds, pollution and ecology. Students get to choose their “Land-Use” to create and color a model. Using simulated pollutants, rain causes run-off right before student’s eyes. This activity helps them understand how even small activities impact our local watersheds. From there kids can create "innovative solutions" to help stop the runoff. Discussion points are included to help the instructor guide the activity.

Note: This is part of my Ecology Lab Bundle for Middle School

What You Get

Student Model Guide


Teacher Notes

Discussion Points

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Ecology Field Lab

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Total Pages
33 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. Examples of the design process include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact. Examples of human impacts can include water usage (such as the withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or the construction of dams and levees), land usage (such as urban development, agriculture, or the removal of wetlands), and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land).
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Examples of ecosystem services could include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social considerations.


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