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Water Pollution

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McWane Science Center


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McWane Science Center

Overview:

For this activity, stream table models are utilized. Students introduce pollutants into the sediment in the stream table. Then they introduce water into the stream table and observe the sediment and “downstream” waterway.

This demonstration shows how ground pollution and upstream water pollution can be carried downstream to other bodies of water and land. The “ground” in the stream table model has been polluted with green food coloring (before the water is added). As the water passes over the polluted area, the pollution contaminates the stream, surrounding land and the larger body of water at the end of the steam.

After polluted water has entered into larger bodies of water (seas, gulfs and oceans), it can be spread to other areas by the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth. The effect deflects objects moving along the surface of the Earth to the right in the Northern hemisphere and to the left in the Southern hemisphere. The resulting movements can cause pollution to spread far beyond its source and affect other parts of the world.


Length: 02:01

Content Areas: Science

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SC (3)
13. Describe ways to sustain natural resources, including recycling, reusing, conserving, and protecting the environment.
  • Recognizing the impact of society on human health and environmental conditions
  •  
    SC (5)
    9. Describe the relationship of populations within a habitat to various communities and ecosystems.
  • Describing the relationship between food chains and food webs
  • Describing symbiotic relationships
  •  
    SC (6)
    2. Describe factors that cause changes to Earth's surface over time.
    Examples: earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering, erosion, glacial erosion or scouring, deposition, water flow, tornadoes, hurricanes, farming and conservation, mining and reclamation, deforestation and reforestation, waste disposal, global climate changes, greenhouse gases
  • Comparing constructive and destructive natural processes and their effects on land formations
  • Examples:
    constructive—volcanic and mountain-building processes;
    destructive—erosion by wind, water, and ice
  • Distinguishing rock strata by geologic composition
  • Examples: predicting relative age of strata by fossil depth, predicting occurrence of natural events by rock composition in a particular strata
     
    SC (6)
    3. Describe water and carbon biogeochemical cycles and their effects on Earth.
     
    SC (7)
    1. Describe characteristics common to living things, including growth and development, reproduction, cellular organization, use of energy, exchange of gases, and response to the environment.
  • Identifying homeostasis as the process by which an organism responds to its internal or external environment
  • Predicting how an organism's behavior impacts the environment
  • Identifying unicellular organisms, including bacteria and protists, by their methods of locomotion, reproduction, ingestion, excretion, and effects on other organisms
  • Identifying the structure of a virus
  •  
    SC (7)
    7. Describe biotic and abiotic factors in the environment.
    Examples:
    biotic—plants, animals;
    abiotic—climate, water, soil
  • Classifying organisms as autotrophs or heterotrophs
  • Arranging the sequence of energy flow in an ecosystem through food webs, food chains, and energy pyramids
  •  
    SC2015 (5)
    16. Collect and organize scientific ideas that individuals and communities can use to protect Earth's natural resources and its environment (e.g., terracing land to prevent soil erosion, utilizing no-till farming to improve soil fertility, regulating emissions from factories and automobiles to reduce air pollution, recycling to reduce overuse of landfill areas).
     
    SC2015 (5)
    17. Design solutions, test, and revise a process for cleaning a polluted environment (e.g., simulating an oil spill in the ocean or a flood in a city and creating a solution for containment and/or cleanup).*
     

     


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