This term we are investigating our freshwater streams, rivers and creeks. But firstly where in the world is all of our water? The Wild about NZ students at Fairhaven Primary, Whakamarama School, Omokoroa No.1 and Omokoroa Point can tell you!
We conducted an interesting activity which inspired creative thinking by firstly asking the students to imagine that all the water in the world was inside the bucket we had filled with water, we then removed 2 cups of water, what is left in the bucket is salt water and we cannot drink this (that’s 97% of the earths water!)
What is in the cup is freshwater. Now we remove 1/2 a cup, the remaining 1 1/2 cups is frozen and we can’t drink that. So we are left with 1/2 a cup of freshwater but most of this isn’t accessible to us as its underground in aquifers and cave systems. We removed 1 teaspoon from the cup, this is the accessible water we are left with to share with every living creature on the planet! The group then handed the teaspoon of water carefully to each person in the class, anything that split was deemed polluted water!
This activity helped highlight what a precious resource freshwater is and how much we need to protect it.
During our session the students learnt that there are a number of ways to assess how healthy or unhealthy a stream is by: searching for invertebrates (the insects that live in streams), looking at what vegetation exists along the banks/ or lack of, water temperature, algae levels, pH levels, flow of the river, substrate and how to test water clarity.
Next session we look forward to putting our knowledge into practice and testing freshwater streams in our varying neighborhoods.