How Deep Is the Water?by: Jeff A. Thomas

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This article describes an activity in which upper elementary students created “stream profiles” of an imaginary aquatic environment using science, mathematics, and simple materials. After the simulation, they applied what they learned during a field trip to a nearby stream. The children truly enjoyed this introduction to fieldwork skills, and the experience provided them with an “inside look” into the careers of limnologists (scientists who study freshwater systems) and oceanographers, who need to map the depths of bodies of water to understand sedimentation rate, current flow, geology, and safety.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:03 PM

This was a very interesting article because it taught students information through simulation but instead of stopping there, they were able to apply in in field experience. It gives students the ability to feel like real scientists rather that students learning in a classroom. Allowing students to experience this gives them the answer to the question we've all asked in school "How can I use this in the real world?" The experience is something I would definitely like to implement in a class of my own.

Brianna Salmond
Brianna Salmond

  • on Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:28 AM

In preparing to determine the depth of a local stream, students first worked with a stream profile box (described in the article) to learn how to determine the depth of the imaginary stream bed at different locations and thus come up an understanding of the stream bed profile. After that activity they used that knowledge to determine the cross section contour of a local stream.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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