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Setting the Scene for Water Quality Investigation: Chemistry
Karen Spaeth

Unit created on 10/6/1999 EST.
Last modified 2/21/2000 1:13:57 PM EST.

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Fundamental Understandings (help)

Through an internet lesson, field experience, and correspondence with a professional, students will be able to obtain a real-world sense of a water quality investigation. They will demonstrate an understanding of the steps necessary to begin field work in chemical water quality testing of a local stream. Students should gain a basic understanding of how to set up a research experiment. Each group will be assigned two chemical tests to monitor; they will attempt to uncover any link between the two.

Technology ISTE Standards (info) 

Use technology tools and resources for managing and communicating personal/professional information (e.g., finances, schedules, addresses, purchases, correspondence). Investigate and apply expert systems, intelligent agents, and simulations in real-world situations.

Information Literacy Standards (info) 

Standard 1 Accesses information efficiently and effectively, as described by the following indicators: recognizes the need for information: recognizes that accurate and comprehensive information is the basis for intelligent decision making; formulates questions based on information needs; identifies a variety of potential sources of information; develops and uses successful strategies for locating information. Standard 3: Uses information effectively and creatively, as described by the following indicators: organizes information for practical application; integrates new information into one's own knowledge; applies information in critical thinking and problem solving; produces and communication information and ideas in appropriate formats. Standard 9: Participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information, as described by the following indicators: shares knowledge and information with others; respects others' ideas and backgrounds and acknowledges their contributions; collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to identify information problems and to seek their solutions; collaborates with others, both in person and through technologies, to design, develop, and evaluate information products and solutions.

Relevance (help)

The basic understanding of scientific inquiry will allow students to formulate their own research projects. The entire process allows students to build on their problem-solving skills which are necessary in all aspects of life. Students should develop an appreciation for the environment and how systems operate. This type of activity allows them to see the "big picture" and encourages students to share in a sense of community. The use of current technologies in these lessons gives students exposure to different methods of investigation outside the traditional classroom.

Assessment (help)

The first lesson has a student worksheet to be completed. The second lesson requires an essay to be written by the student. The third lesson requires e-mail correspondence to be documented.

Components (help)

Lesson 1: Investigating Parameters for Water quality (an internet activity) Lesson 2: Field Investigation of a Stream (half-day field trip to the stream to get acquainted with equipment and converse with a local ecologist) Lesson 3: "Ask-an-Expert" - Online communication tool Students will be working in cooperative learning groups throughout the entire unit (all three lessons).

URLs (help)


Workforce Competencies (info) (help)

Students work cooperatively to successfully complete a project or activity.

Part One: Investigating Parameters for Water Quality
Part Two: Field Investigation of a Local Stream

Copyright 1997-2003
Career Connection to Teaching with Technology
USDOE Technology Innovation Challenge Grant
Marshall Ransom, Project Manager
All rights reserved.

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