This design challenge moves your students from passive to active learners through a cross-curricular, hands-on team challenge in direct correlation to real-world issues of water conservation. By creating prototype desalination plants and companies, students in grades 6-8 will understand how substances are separated, the need for freshwater conservation, and ultimately how a desalination plant works.
As global population grows, so does the demand for water. Yet less than one percent of the planet’s supply is potable, and estimates suggest that 40% of humanity will not have access to clean water by 2025. Explore the complex issues surrounding this precious resource in this episode of America Abroad.
America Abroad is an award-winning documentary radio program distributed by Public Radio International (PRI) and broadcast on public radio stations nationwide. Each month, we take an in-depth look at a critical issue in international affairs and U.S. foreign policy.
To learn more visit http://www.americaabroad.org
Students learn about the techniques engineers have developed for changing ocean water into drinking water, including thermal and membrane desalination. They begin by reviewing the components of the natural water cycle. They see how filters, evaporation and/or condensation can be components of engineering desalination processes. They learn how processes can be viewed as systems, with unique objects, inputs, components and outputs, and sketch their own system diagrams to describe their own desalination plant designs.
Students use a thermal process approach to design, build and test a small-scale desalination plant that is capable of significantly removing the salt content from a saltwater solution. Students use a saltwater circuit to test the efficiency of their model desalination plant and learn how the water cycle is the basis for the thermal processes that drive their desalination plant.