Presentation Title

Stormwater Investigation on School Grounds: Supporting Secondary STEM Learning

Session Title

Session S-08B: Stormwater Quality, Impacts, Treatment Solutions

Conference Track

Stormwater

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Presenter/Author Information

Pat KirschbaumFollow

Start Date

1-5-2014 5:00 PM

End Date

1-5-2014 6:30 PM

Abstract

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is one of the current buzz words in education in Washington State. New standards are incorporating STEM and project-based experiences and teachers are seeking opportunities to engage their students in authentic and relevant projects. Stormwater issues provide an ideal way to teach STEM concepts—using science and math to define a problem or issue and utilizing technology and engineering to design a solution. Although Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management (SSWM) Program implements a robust elementary education program, that model is not ideal for secondary schools. To address this, SSWM educators and water quality monitors are partnering with local schools to develop and implement one school-ground based field investigation topic annually for three years building a suite of stormwater projects teachers can select from. Our goals are to implement stormwater-centric investigations assisting teachers to meet these new requirements, and resulting in raised awareness about stormwater. After three years SSWM will evaluate the program to determine the cost versus benefit of this approach. "Copper in Parking Lot Runoff" was piloted in spring 2013 and will be expanded to multiple classrooms in 2014. "Rain Garden in a Box" is being piloted in 2014 and will investigate zinc and copper in rooftop runoff. In both these projects, students are guided through a process to investigate an issue and develop research questions, collect samples and analyze data, and develop conclusions based on their data and observations. Participants have opportunities to present their findings at a regional youth summit, pursue a stewardship activity or course of action if warranted, and have assistance throughout the project from community mentors. Evaluation of student understanding of environmental issues related to Puget Sound before and after the initial project demonstrated a 68% increase. Field based investigations provide a tool to help teachers meet state standards and engage students in environmental learning experiences that are relevant to local surface waters. These experiences raise awareness in this next generation of citizens in how their daily activities can influence their watershed and show how they are connected to the greater Puget Sound/Salish Sea landscape.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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May 1st, 5:00 PM May 1st, 6:30 PM

Stormwater Investigation on School Grounds: Supporting Secondary STEM Learning

Room 6C

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is one of the current buzz words in education in Washington State. New standards are incorporating STEM and project-based experiences and teachers are seeking opportunities to engage their students in authentic and relevant projects. Stormwater issues provide an ideal way to teach STEM concepts—using science and math to define a problem or issue and utilizing technology and engineering to design a solution. Although Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management (SSWM) Program implements a robust elementary education program, that model is not ideal for secondary schools. To address this, SSWM educators and water quality monitors are partnering with local schools to develop and implement one school-ground based field investigation topic annually for three years building a suite of stormwater projects teachers can select from. Our goals are to implement stormwater-centric investigations assisting teachers to meet these new requirements, and resulting in raised awareness about stormwater. After three years SSWM will evaluate the program to determine the cost versus benefit of this approach. "Copper in Parking Lot Runoff" was piloted in spring 2013 and will be expanded to multiple classrooms in 2014. "Rain Garden in a Box" is being piloted in 2014 and will investigate zinc and copper in rooftop runoff. In both these projects, students are guided through a process to investigate an issue and develop research questions, collect samples and analyze data, and develop conclusions based on their data and observations. Participants have opportunities to present their findings at a regional youth summit, pursue a stewardship activity or course of action if warranted, and have assistance throughout the project from community mentors. Evaluation of student understanding of environmental issues related to Puget Sound before and after the initial project demonstrated a 68% increase. Field based investigations provide a tool to help teachers meet state standards and engage students in environmental learning experiences that are relevant to local surface waters. These experiences raise awareness in this next generation of citizens in how their daily activities can influence their watershed and show how they are connected to the greater Puget Sound/Salish Sea landscape.