Terre Levin, Helaine McDermott, Kevin Hickey

Refer to the Vee Diagram, as below, which is to be used for student-generated focus questions.

Many options could be offered here, depending on the individual teachers situation. We came up with several possible Focus Questions, each dealing with the quality of water, primarily for wildlife use, but it could also be for human consumption.

- How does a Factory, (Town, Condominium, etc.) 
impact on a body of water?

- How do two separate sites on the same body of 
water compare?

- How do two different bodies of water compare?

Students should come up with their own Vee Diagram, but here is a possibility - and it may help in formulating a lesson plan for your own situation.

Records - Students may want to gather data as listed below; there are many more/different tests that can be done, depending on your situation.

Temperature                              Turbidity

pH                                            Phosphates

D. O. (Dissolved Oxygen)           B. O. D. (Biological Oxygen Demand)

Transformations - With these tests, students may want to demonstrate their data in tables, graphs, log, or other way.

Results - The students should have access to the range of "normal" data, where needed, so they can compare their results to determine the water quality.

Knowledge Claims - Depending on the initial Focus Question, the students should be able to state whether the water they tested is of good quality, or not.

Value Claims - Depending on the outcome of their experiment, students should be able to determine if the quality of water is better in one place compared to another, and perhaps make some statement concerning any ramifications of the 'good' or 'poor' water, and/or what might be done to rectify any problems that do exist.

Theory - Factories, human or farm discharge/sewage, etc. pollute the water tested, making it unfit for life. What life, if any, is present in the water?

Principles - Man-made pollutants affect water quality.

Concepts - Living things require oxygen in order to live. The tests performed measure the availability of oxygen for use or the production of oxygen in a body of water, thereby allowing students to know if it can support fish or plants. 

Vee Diagram