Water Quality Improvement Through Community Campus Partnerships

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Teaching the Next Generation of Water Consumers

Dr. Paul Adams led a group of pre-service elementary school teachers in the development of comprehensive water quality lesson plans for elementary school students. The project consisted of three elements: a) a workshop for preservice elementary teachers to make them aware of the watershed issues and resources for teaching 1st through 5th graders about water; b) a five-week after school science program on water conservation, preservation, and restoration, developed and led by the preservice teachers enrolled in an internship course; and c) presentation by a subset of the preservice teachers at the National Science Teachers meeting held in Omaha, Nebraska.

According to preservice teachers’ results, from pre/post testing of the elementary students at the after school program, the overall success rate of teaching their objectives to the elementary students was 85%.  Two of the four groups felt all objectives were adequately mastered.  All groups agreed the hands-on activities were the most successful due to the various ages of the participants.  

The preservice teachers were graded based on their ability to meet specific criteria as rated by the instructor of the internship course where this project was completed.  The criteria included having clear, complete and organized materials; documentation written with correct grammar and spelling; ability to demonstrate achievement of competency; ability to complete by assigned date; reflections demonstrating sound content; student initiated activities and discussions thus playing an active role in the classroom; and maintaining a high level of confidentiality and professionalism.

FHSU preservice teachers led elementary students in hands-on
water quality projects in an afterschool setting.