School Water Audit
In the School Water Audit Unit, students think and act like engineers to understand how technology can help save water. With the help of super-hero Silver Aerator, they zero in on reducing the amount of water used for handwashing. To launch their investigation, they reverse-engineer a faucet aerator and figure out how it works. Then they go to work determining the difference between the flow of water through an old aerator and the flow through a new, high-efficiency aerator, which they install. They do real-world science as they measure flow-rate, conduct school-wide surveys of handwashing frequency, and design experiments to estimate the average length of a handwashing session. Then they use the data to calculate annual water savings. That’s math that really means something! Finally, students re-design an aerator for even greater water savings. The work of the students doesn’t stop in the classroom. They take their water savings message to the community by producing and publishing Public Service Announcements! Throughout the unit, systems thinking supports complex mathematical and scientific thinking and helps students better understand the real-world math application.