2014 Earth Science Curriculum

Runny Parking Lot

The city of St. Paul is requesting engineers to retrofit a local parking lot to reduce runoff and ensure an adequate water supply for future residents. The requirements of the client are to first, decrease the amount of water that is running off the surface and increase infiltration. Second, maintain or improve water quality. Third, include an educational component to make visitors aware of the problem of urban runoff. Groups will be assembled of  “experts” in rain gardens, catchments, infiltration and pavement type and propose their plan to the city during a final poster 
session. 

Runaway Runoff

The Ramsey-Washington County Watershed District has identified the watershed in Maplewood as threatened by the enormous amount of pollutants and sediment carried by the runoff water. If this is not reduced, the water quality of nearby lakes and rivers will be greatly diminished. Maplewood Middle School has been identified as a major contributor to the runoff problem. The Maplewood Mayor and city council has invited engineers to submit a plan to reduce the runoff at Maplewood Middle School that will improve and protect the water quality in the lakes and streams.

Storm Water Challenge

Using synthetic materials contained within a stream table as a model of their own school campus, students are tasked with reducing runoff of the school’s parking lot to protect their local environment. Groups of three will work in teams to create a final design on grid paper after testing their theories on the stream table model. Each member of the team will be responsible for a BMP (best management practices) and must present their final design to the other groups. 

Re-Imagineering the Water Cycle

In Re-Imagineering the Water Cycle, the challenge of designing America’s next great water park is posed to elementary school students. A local science museum is interested in getting plans for a proposed amusement park that accurately represents the various aspects of the water cycle. Students will be placed in design teams that will be taking on the role of engineers tasked with creating rides, attractions, and infrastructure that will model the water cycle.
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