Sixth Grade Studies Water Access as Lens into Sustainability, Global Issues
Sixth graders at the Lower School researched and wrote about issues surrounding water quality and access to clean water around the world as a class project.
Students examined a multitude of issues around water (human rights, politics, policy, access, sanitation, etc.) as a companion project to a field trip to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum and an assignment to read the novel "A Long Walk To Water.” Each student’s final product was a "Science World"-type article.
Each day for the week-long project, the students were asked to complete a series of activities to gain background knowledge of the topic. Activities included learning about developed and developing countries, how to use the notetaking/bibliography-generating program NoodleTools, how to format a Google doc, and how to perform math computations about water usage and resource allocation.
Students also had the opportunity to hear from a range of community members including Officer Jacob Mach a “Lost Boy” of Sudan, Centers for Disease Control cholera researcher Maggie Person, and Woodward’s own staff member Adem Kaleshi, who spoke about his experiences as a refugee from Kosovo.
“By engaging in this project, students are introduced to a sustainability mindset, in which it becomes second nature to think about how your actions today will affect someone else tomorrow,” said Monica Kuhlman, sixth grade science teacher. “By showing students how to consciously and deliberately use their resources with the future in mind, we hope to help them how to learn to live beyond themselves through both their actions and behaviors.”
Below are two sample projects from the Lower School students.
1. A GUINEA WORM’S JOURNEY
THE RATES OF GUINEA WORM DISEASE
GWD stands for Guinea worm disease, it’s spread by people mostly in Africa drinking water with Guinea worm larvae. The larva is a baby or immature Guinea worm. Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Chad are the only counties to be reported with GWD cases in 2016. 3.5 million people were affected by GWD in 1986, in 2016 there were 25, and now in 2018, there were only 28 cases reported.
WHAT DOES GUINEA WORM DO TO YOUR BODY?
When you drink water with copepods or flies, they die in your body and release larvae in your digestive system. The larvae live in your body until there adult worms, females grow up to 24-39 inches. once done mating they go towards the skin making it uncomfortable for the human. the skin will itch and burn, making the human put their body under water. When that happens the female lets her larvae out to start the cycle again. It takes two to three weeks until all the larvae are let out then the female worm dies.
HOW TO REMOVE A GUINEA WORM
When the worm starts to come out of your foot to let its larvae into the water, then you start to pull it out a few centimeters a day. It can take weeks before you pull the whole thing out by wrapping it around a stick. People use aspirin or ibuprofen to soothe the pain, but The Carter Center and many other organizations are trying to eradicate the Guinea worm and we’re almost there so the pain is so close to being over. - Adam K.
2. THE 8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD
Libya: How this country solved its water crisis.
HOW DID LIBYA INSTALL ITS PIPELINE?
The Libyan government dug trenches along the desert countryside that connected to each other and is let out of wells in many villages and cities. Then they installed a pipeline that works just like an aqueduct. However, most of the main pipes are six feet underground.
The project is still undergoing.
HOW MUCH DID THE PIPELINE COST?
Libya is technically is a wealthy country based on its oil economy. This pipeline is a multi-billion dollar project. Libya's government has spent 36 billion dollars on this project since 1983. Some Historians are calling this investment the wonder of the world.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE FOSSIL WATER AFTER IT IS DRAINED?
The Libyan people are grateful for having this clean water instead of paying for expensive dirty water. Though there are some concerns about how long this operation can last. The Libya Government has not said how long this project can go on for, but scientist says this pipeline can last for 50 years. Though for now this only seems like a dream for the people of Libya.
- Gray S.