Water is vital to plants and the source of that water could affect the health and vitality of the harvest. Capturing rainwater is a perfect exercise to explore conservation and yields water that is vastly superior to what comes out of the tap. Using water properly, understanding its value as a resource and finding ways to use it wisely is key.
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6.1 Nature’s Lifeblood
Why Rain is Important (Beginner)
To say that rain is the lifeblood of nature is an understatement. This lesson peels away the mystery of rain, its importance to plant development, and it roll in nutrient delivery.
A River Runs Through It (Intermediate)
Water flows from the mountains to the valleys connecting all things. This lesson explores that interconnectedness and the impact it has on agriculture and the communities that rely on it.
Dam Be Gone (Advanced)
It’s the ebb and flow of society’s wants and desires that led to the surge in dams initially. Now the people want the dams to be removed. This lesson is a debate with students arguing each side of the issue.
6.2 Quality vs Convenience
Not all water is created equal and in this lesson students will test various sources to prove that very fact. The result will be a conclusion on which water source is best for use in the Lab.
Water of the Gods (Intermediate)
If you want the best food you need to use the best inputs. In this lesson, students compare the impact of rainwater and treated tap water to determine which is best for use in the Lab.
Who owns the rain anyway? (Advanced)
Water rights are already a hot topic as potable supplies continue to dwindle. This lesson allows the class to debate both sides of the rain harvesting issue to determine just who owns the rain.
6.3 Buckets, Barrels and Ponds
Common Rain Harvest Systems (Beginner)
There are countless ways to collect rainwater and in this lesson students will explore some of those in order to determine which is most viable for use in the Lab.
Let it Rain! (Intermediate)
Imagine just how much rainwater could be collected if every drop from every roof on your campus was funneled into a collection system. That’s exactly what this lesson aims to do.
Far More Than Just an ‘Ol Swimming Hole (Advanced)
There are more ways to collect rainwater than just barrels. This lesson explores the value and use of retention ponds to collect and store rainwater.
6.4 Bring on the Rain!
Installing Our Rain Catchment System (Beginner)
Installing a rain catchment system is rather straight forward and in this lesson the students will assist with that process. Understanding how the system works is important for ongoing maintenance.
One Barrel, Two Barrels, Three Barrels, More! (Intermediate)
Just how much water is needed to sustain your Lab for an entire year? This lesson tasks students with calculating the needs for the year and the design to make it happen.
You Can’t Push Water Up Hill, Can You? (Advanced)
Having water is one thing but being able to move it where it is needed is another. This lesson tackles the movement of water with gravity to deliver it where it’s needed.
6.5 Drops Add Up
Measuring Rainfall (Beginner)
The ability to predict variables in the farming system is what separates good farmers from great ones. This lesson helps students understand rainfall by constructing a DIY rain gauge.
DIY Rain Gauge
6.6 Rain Farm
When it rains it pours and the collection potential just from a single building could be tremendous. This lesson teaches students how to calculate the collection potential for rainfall for any building.
Work With What You’ve Got (Intermediate)
This lesson is all about the calculations needed to determine annual water needs for the Lab production. Students will not only make these calculations but also evaluate the monthly pattern of rainfall to determine when reserves will be needed and surpluses available.
This School is Powered by Rainwater (Advanced)
Imagine what it might take to meet all of your school’s water needs with rainwater. This lesson explores that very notion and gives students a canvas to create an initial plan.
6.7 Water Boss
How Does Our City Manage Its Water? (Beginner)
The water treatment system that operates behind the scene in every municipality across the country is far more complex than most would think. In this lesson, we take the show on the road to visit the local water treatment plant.
Old School Ways (Intermediate)
Technology affects everything including how we’ve moved water from one place to another. This lesson provides students will a detailed look at the technology used to move water over the centuries.
Creative Water Transport (Advanced)
How many ways can you think of to move water? This lesson challenges students to devise unique and creative ways to move water everywhere it is needed in the Lab.
6.8 Can We Drink It?
Treatment and Filtering of Harvested Water (Beginner)
The pristine appearance of water makes it look refreshing and drinkable but it often contains invisible contaminants. This lesson leads students through the process of constructing a DIY water filter.
Pump Up the Volume (Intermediate)
Time to build a bigger, better water filter. This lesson explores the design attributes of a large scale water filter that students can build and use in the Lab.
It’s All About Costs and Benefits (Advanced)
Chlorine is added to the water supply to protect the public from water-borne disease. This lesson explores the pros and cons of treating the municipal water supply and the effects it might have on the human body.