On Friday, October 11, the Northeastern Center for STEM hosted ~68 fifth grade students
from Murphy K-8 School in Dorchester, MA. The theme of this weeks field trip was focused on the effects of water pollution and sustainability. The students began their day learning what engineering is and participated in an activity called “Who Polluted the Charles River?” They read a story on the development of pollution in the Charles River over time. Several of the students had samples of different “pollutants” to add to a clean water basin, showing how easy and quickly it is for water to be contaminated. They learned a lesson on how it is important to keep our planet safe with clean water supply.
Following this, students participated in a “Water Filtration” activity, where they worked in groups of four and were asked to create an inexpensive water filter out of certain materials. They were given a budget of fifty “dollars” and allowed to “purchase” materials such as cotton balls, gravel, cheese cloth, and coffee filters. Their goal was to filter the polluted water they created in the “Who Polluted the Charles River?” activity. Using their creative mind, students were able to design a variety of water filters.
During lunch, both the students and volunteers participated in a College 101/STEM Panel. Students were able to ask the undergraduate students at Northeastern questions about college and their STEM pathways.
After the students ate their lunches, they participated in their last activity, “Overfishing.” They focused on the reasoning behind over-fishing and the long term impact it can contribute towards an environment. Groups of six students worked together to see the impact of a typical fishing company on a fish population as they “developed” more effective means of fishing over time.
Thank you to the students, teachers, and volunteers for making this field trip possible!