The CERM 2019 STEM team is designing a NGSS aligned environmental water quality chemistry activity for elementary students (4-6 grade). The activities will cover entire STEM NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) categories and integrate categories outside of science to provide in-classroom teachers with a robust and fully implementable program, which is currently not available. This novel project design leverages the scientific expertise of ACS professionals, providing their STEM expertise in a time commitment sustainable and at an appropriate science level for all parties involved. The environmental science at the core of this STEM experience is very time relevant, affords the opportunity to perform “real” science measurements, and through the geographic web design creates a regional community of next generation scientist understanding the science of their environment.
Environmental science encompasses all STEM disciplines and is a very real example students can see right outside of their classroom window. Not to mention, is absolutely the number 1 concern for the next generation. Experiencing the chemistry of this vast field will equip the students with the problem solving tools to work through the challenges. The analysis of key markers in the environment (P, N, turbidity, pH, temperature, etc.) incorporates numerous chemistry concepts and materials. By exploring these chemistries, students will collect data, that they in turn can crowd source to their colleagues. Comparing data from around the region, classrooms can evaluate how their results compare to others, the source of the variation, and the impact on their local environment.