Water is Life Mobile Teaching Lab (Science)
- The first diorama demonstrates (surface) uses of water (homes, agriculture, manufacturing, etc.) and examples of ground water features (aquifers, water tables, etc.). The water cycle is apparent in the diorama with images of clouds and green surfaces and ground water. Green surfaces transpire (give off H2O); this moisture – and water from lakes, rivers, streams and oceans – is heated by the sun, and evaporates; this condenses into rain; the rain descends into surface water structures (rivers, lakes, oceans) and some filters into the ground. And the cycle repeats.
- Body of water — The model and accompanying display show the percentages of water in various parts of the human body. This display underscores the fact that life is dependent upon potable water, partially because so many organs of our body require it to function.
- Pollution — nonpoint source and point source — can be broadly defined as water pollution from known and unknown sources, and that includes storm water drainage. This display allows students to view a range of sources. Extending the sources to include individual behaviors such as littering and storm water drainage off of streets that contains oils, rubber from tires, etc. can be summarized: “If it’s on the ground…it’s in your water”.
- Water usage in the home (represented by 100%) shows how water is used at home, by breaking out percentages of the total — such as the bathroom, kitchen, etc. Suggest to students that their behavior can change the represented percentages in the display; this knowledge can help empower kids to understand and subsequently control their individual uses of water by their actions, such as choosing to take shorter showers, etc.
- “How much water does it take?” is an amazing presentation the water used in manufacturing a variety of items, such as blue jeans. Consider starting a discussion about this display by asking students “If you had a limited number of gallons of water YOU could use per day, would you choose jeans or a hamburger?” Stress that our individual use of water is choices we can actively make.
- Models of structures for composting are displayed to give examples of a variety of ways to contain yard trimmings. The interactive presentation on how long it takes to decompose items is a fun challenge… with some surprises for most of us. This is a good place to discuss what items are bio-degradable and non-biodegradable.