On Saturday, September 25th, we held our first field trip of the semester in collaboration with the Ron Burton Training Village. They invited Nick and NU volunteers Maya, Brendan, Jonathan and I to the Boston Waterworks Museum. At the Museum, we worked with 40 girls who are interested in STEM to learn more about how the water systems in Boston has changed over the years.
The day began with an introduction to the museum and a discussion about our day to day water consumption and how it compares to how much water we have access to in the world. To really emphasize our water consumption, the girls were presented a Menu Activity, where they worked together to decide their ideals meals from a provided menu. The students were then given the amount of water it took for each ingredients so they were able to calculate how much water it took to construct their ideal meal (it was a lot!). We then learned about pollution in our waters and how it enters our water. As the girls identified more ways pollutants can enter our water, they were allowed to sprinkle “pollution” onto a 3D Model in which then had a heavy rain storm from a spray bottle. This visualization allowed the students to learn how run off carries pollution to our waters making them contaminated.
After the successful first half of the trip, all of the girls and volunteers went outside for a quick workout break. The weather was wonderful and it was a ton of fun to take a break and be able to exercise during a field trip.
Continuing the field trip, we then headed back inside to learn more about the history behind how Boston got their water with the machines right in front of us! We were also able to walk under one of the machines to look at the large wheels that turned to help pump water to the Boston communities. After the history lesson, there was only one activity left to do. The students and volunteers then headed outside where they fetched some water from a nearby body of water. The water was then tested for its temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, and pH level. We formulated a hypothesis about the water’s health and then concluded based on our tests that the nearby body of water was healthy!
The field trip was extremely fun and extremely insightful. Thank you to the Ron Burton Training Village for inviting Northeastern Center for STEM Education to help alongside the girls as we learned more about the water systems in Boston. Unfortunately, we ran out of time at the end but we’re looking forward to collaborating with them again!
If you are interested in learning more about Water and more specifically Water Pollution, check out our activity Who Polluted the Charles River & Water Filtration!