- Contact information
- For information on Groundwater education, contact:
- Laura Chern
Bureau of Drinking and Groundwater
Groundwater educational materials
Groundwater model teacher workshops
Since 2001, training on the use of a groundwater sand tank model has been provided annually to educators from schools or nature centers around the state. The educators selected through a competitive application process receive a one-day training session, a groundwater flow model and instructions on using it, classroom exercises designed to meet state academic standards, and reimbursement for substitute teachers while at the training. Since 2001, educators from almost 300 schools or nature centers have received training through this program and received a free model (see map).
The training is provided by staff from the Wisconsin DNR, the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey and the UW Stevens Point Center for Watershed Science and Education. Funding for the groundwater workshops comes from a wellhead protection "setaside" grant given to the DNR by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. For more information on the workshops, contact Laura Chern.
The goal of the workshops is to teach educators about how groundwater moves, how groundwater can be contaminated, and ways to protect the resource so they pass along that knowledge to students and the general public. The groundwater model offers a “slice” or cross-section representation of the earth, allowing students to “see” groundwater. Educators and students can use the model to demonstrate a variety of groundwater flow principles, including water table levels, how groundwater supplies are replenished, how groundwater flows through different geologic materials, and how contaminants from a variety of sources can leak into groundwater. The model also contains “wells” which can be used to show the effects of pumping on the groundwater flow system. For more information on how the groundwater sand tank model can be used, visit the Portage County Groundwater Site.
More information on the workshops is available on the printable Groundwater Workshop annoucement. Please click the other tabs above for additional online resources about groundwater education.
Fun with groundwater
Video presentations from groundwater model teacher workshops
For educators who would like to get an idea of what the groundwater workshops are like and how the groundwater sand tank models can be used, or for teachers who have a model and would like a quick refresher course, here are three short videos recorded during the 2011 workshop in Mt. Horeb.
- What is Groundwater?
- Kevin Masarik, Center for Watershed Science and Education [17 minutes]
- Geology and Hydrogeology of Wisconsin
- Dave Hart, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey [26 minutes]
- Using the Sand Tank Model
- Dave Hart, WGNHS [23 minutes]
* The full-length workshop video [1 hour, 21 minutes] is also available.
Wisconsin groundwater directory
The Wisconsin Groundwater Directory provides listings of state agencies and what they do related to groundwater, contacts for groundwater information and education programs, printed and online resources related to groundwater, and more! This publication was produced by the Education Subcommittee of the Wisconsin Groundwater Coordinating Council (GCC).
Links of interest from the groundwater model teacher workshops
- UW-Stevens Point, Center for Watershed Science and Education
Groundwater Model Teacher Workshops
- Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- UW Extension - Educating Young People about Groundwater
- United State Geological Survey
- US Environmental Protection Agency
- Groundwater Foundation - educational materials
- Water Conservation ideas
- National Groundwater Association (materials for educators)
- Protecting Wisconsin’s Groundwater Using Comprehensive Land use Planning
- Wisconsin Water Resources Institute on Youtube
USGS water cycle website
The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released a major new website about “The Water Cycle”. This site offers a comprehensive discussion of the water cycle, available in 36 languages. It features a superb diagram of the water cycle done by a USGS artist. There is an in-depth Web page for each of the 15 topics on the diagram, along with a single-page summary of the water cycle. The Water Cycle is one of the modules for the existing Water Science for Schools site which contains information on many aspects of water. It includes pictures, data, maps and an interactive center.
Wisconsin groundwater study guide
This award winning material is a curriculum development guide primarily for 6th to 9th grade earth science teachers, adaptable to older and younger students, informal education settings and the general public.
Update to Wisconsin academic standards for health education and mathematics
November 2015 update: The translation for 2013 Standards for Health Standards and 2011 Common Core State Standards for Math:
|Activity||Page||2013 Wisconsin Standards for Health Science|
|‘Round and ‘Round It Goes||5||EHS1.a|
|Well, Well, Well||9||EHS1.a, EHS1.b|
|Wisconsin’s Major Aquifers||12||IMT1.a, IMT1.c|
|A Plume of Contamination||14||EHS1.a, EHS1.b|
|Where Does It Come From...||16||IMT1.a, IMT1.c|
|How Septic Systems Work||18||EHS1.a|
|Caution: This Product May Be Hazardous...||20||EHS1.a, 4C2.a, IMT1.c, IMT1.d, 4C3|
|It’ll Go With the Flow||22||EHS1.a, EHS1.b, 4C2.a|
|Trouble in Paradise||27||EHS1.a, 4C3|
|Activity||Page||Common Core State Standards for Mathematics|
|Porosity and Permeability||7||3.MD.2, 3.MD.3, HS.S-IC|
|Wisconsin’s Major Aquifers||12||7.G.1|
|It’ll Go With the Flow||22||7.EE.3, HS.S-IC|
The guide contains:
- Background for Translation of 1997 DPI health education standards to 2013 Wisconsin Standards for Health Science
- Background for Translation of 1997 mathematics education standards in to 2011 Common Core Standards for Mathematics
- one Cover Letter
- one 36-page “Groundwater Study Guide” Booklet
- one set of 12 Activity handouts
- ten small Posters to use as a reference during individual or small group activities.
- one large Poster to use for large group activities or classroom reference.
- Excerpts from the April 2006 Natural Resources Magazine insert, “Groundwater: Wisconsin’s Buried Treasure”:
- one “Groundwater Contamination Susceptibility in Wisconsin” map
- list of Groundwater Models for Loan
- Additional Resources
- one copy of “Better Homes and Groundwater” publication
- one copy of “Wisconsin Groundwater Directory”
- one copy of “Wisconsin Water Resources Websites”
Exercises using the groundwater sand tank model
Here are three lessons which use the groundwater model to teach students about groundwater.