Aqua STEM Unit:

  • Rainwater harvesting
  • Students Experiment with Roof Model

Rainwater Harvesting System Design

Combining creativity, engineering design, and science yields exceptional results in this newly designed Rainwater Harvesting Unit. Students learn the basic principles of effective rainwater harvesting and employ them in their own system design. (Construction of their design is not required.)

By experimenting with roofing materials, students learn that different surfaces impact the amount of water that can be collected. They envision where water flows and where it goes on school property. Using observation and inference, they deduce the best possible location to build a potential rainwater harvesting system and develop a schematic diagram to showcase their intentions.

Learning why they’re harvesting rain is just as important as engineering design. Students study the watering needs of different types of plants (native vs non-native) using online references. They work with detailed spreadsheets to calculate the amount of water their project landscape needs to stay healthy.

By thinking through their water supply and water demand calculations, students learn to make adjustments and eventually hone in on the best sized collection area and storage tank to meet their project landscape needs. A student gallery walk with constructive peer review help students to finalize their designs. The unit closes with an in-class presentation of each group’s rainwater harvesting system.

Teachers explore APW's Rainwater Harvesting model

The Unit


Students Build Rainwater Harvesting System


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