On January 19th, 50 fifth grade students from the Chittick School came to Northeastern University for a field trip on “Who Polluted the Charles,” water filtration, and over fishing.
Students first engaged in a pollution activity, that gives students an up-close and personal idea of various sources of pollution, and how every person contributes to contamination. A discussion on the sources of pollution, water quality issues, uses of the water bodies, and the clean-up processes for different contaminants gives students an introduction to the broad field of environmental engineering and water resources management.
Paired up with this activity is water filtration. Students design a water filter using cups and a variety of materials which can be ‘purchased’ using their allotted budgets to filter out a sample of “polluted water.” The materials available range from coffee filters to sand, and it enables students to be creative with the methodology of water filtration.
In the afternoon, students simulated a typical fishing company that will have an increasingly large impact on the fish population as they “develop” more effective means of fishing. They competed against each other to maximize their profits from fishing and then learn about the effects of over fishing.