Saint Columbkille Catholic School – STEM Field Trip 12 (’18-’19)

On January 25th, the Center for STEM Educations hosted 30 fifth grade students from the Saint Columbkille school for the third STEM field trip of 2019! The activities of the day were themed around water. The students began their day with a presentation on ‘Who Polluted the Charles,’ where they had the chance to simulate pollution in our beloved local river! Various materials were used to show how every person contributes to the contamination of the river and how it is important to keep our planet and its water clean.

Students “polluting” a tub of water to simulate pollution in the Charles.

After, they followed up with the ‘Water Filtration’ activity, in which students designed a water filter using a variety of materials which can be ‘purchased’ using their allotted budgets to filter out a sample of “polluted water” (the water from the ‘Who Polluted the Charles’ activity was used. The materials available ranged from coffee filters to sand, and it enabled students to be creative with the methodology of water filtration. We saw many creative designs from the young ones!

Students creating a device to filter out all of contaminants in the water from the ‘Who Polluted the Charles’ activity.

Following lunch, the student engaged in another hands-on activity: ‘Overfishing.’ Students simulated a fishing company that had an increasingly large impact on the fish population as they “developed” more effective means of fishing. They will form groups and will compete against each other to maximize their profits from fishing. The effects of overfishing will become clear once the fishing company progresses deeper into the fishing business and gains less and less profit each round of fishing despite having all the resources to obtain such fish. Students again were able to gain an understanding of the importance of taking care of our planets’ resources, living or nonliving.

Students observe the effects of “overfishing.”

At the end, the Northeastern student volunteers led the students on tours of the campus, and the visiting students also had the opportunity to ask questions about college. The highlight of the tour, as usual, was the echo circle in the science quad!

Students listen to their echos in the science quad!

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