Groundwater Ecology Ireland
Resources for school teachers
To create a working model aquifer, learn about groundwater, increasing one’s understanding of groundwater and related concepts.
Duration 60 minutes
Age Range 5th grade through adult
Materials The following is a list of suggested materials that can be used to build the aquifer. Teams may find other materials they wish to use or other ways to use materials than what is suggested. A transparent container (one per team): to build the aquifer in. This could be a jar, 2-liter soda bottle, small aquarium, display box, plastic storage container, etc. Sand, gravel, soil, modeling clay/plumbers putty, sponges: represent geological strata Plastic syringe or lotion pump: used as a well (pumping or injection) Aquarium airline tubing: can be used as part of a well Nylon netting, hosiery, coffee filter, or window screen: works as a well screen Rubber bands, plumber’s putty, or electrical tape: used in various ways to hold parts together (e.g. well screen) Spray bottle: used to demonstrate rain Liquid food coloring and/or powered drink mix: represents contamination Film canister: can be used as an underground storage tank
Procedure Students will need some initial groundwater knowledge prior to this activity. This activity is best when students have already been introduced to groundwater and related concepts. Discuss the concepts included in list provided and discuss related topics such as possible sources of groundwater contamination and possible prevention or reduction methods. Divide the students into teams of 2 or 3. Distribute copies of the Awesome Aquifer Concept list to the students as a guide for their construction and presentation.
- Design and build a working model aquifer (allow 30-45 minutes) inutes)
- Allow the students time to discuss in their team how they will construct their model. Give the students ample time to construct a working aquifer with materials such as those listed above and make sure they have had time to prepare a short presentation with their model.
- Each team of students will present their model to the other teams, demonstrating and explaining concepts included in their model (10 minutes per team, use a timer.)
- After each team of students has completed its demonstration have students discuss what they learned
- Discuss real world situations (drought, contamination…) that may affect groundwater supplies and discuss how communities and individuals might deal with these situations.