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Water Quality & Health

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The toxification of the Hudson River has had a dramatic impact on the health of the river's ecosystem as well as the ability of people living along the river to use and enjoy it. With increasing human population in the last one hundred years, the Hudson has endured high levels of raw sewage, loading of nutrients, and the accumulation of pollutants such as PCBs. In this module, students learn how to monitor a local waterway for changes in water quality, and how the Hudson River has changed over time due to pollutants including nitrates, phosphates, and salt.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will decide whether their local stream or the larger Hudson River are healthy, using chemical and physical characteristics, and be able to collect data to support or negate their hypotheses.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how much water enters and exits their school building, creating a water budget and be able to understand how land cover affects the water that enters the school campus.

  • Grades: 9-12

    Students will understand the different aspects of water quality and be able to use water quality test kits to practice testing for pollutants.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how water flows around their school and will be able to explain how permeability and pollution within a watershed affect water quality.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know the benefits and drawbacks of drinking bottled water, and be able to compare the quality of their local water source to bottled water.

  • Grades: 9-12

    Students will know the history of nutrient loading in the Hudson River, the consequences, and be able to recommend ways to reduce the levels of nitrogen and phosphorous in the future.

  • Grades: 9-12

    Students will know how the pollution in the Hudson River has changed over time, and be able to explain the consequences of these changes.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know at what level of salt concentration aquatic organisms are affected, and be able to explain the results of an experiment to determine these levels.

  • Grades: 9-12

    Students will use data to create a scatter plot by hand and be able to understand the importance of replication and the intrinsic link between variability and the conclusions that can be drawn from data.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how the application of road salt impacts water quality and be able to discover the different sources of salt as well as the amount of time that salt stays in the aquatic ecosystem.

  • Grades: 9-12

    Students will know how the sewage levels in the Hudson River have changed over time, and be able to explain the consequences of these changes.