Sunday, June 18, 2017

Water Journey Day 5: Water Testing and Sharing our Story

Campers gathered for a send-off at the drinking fountain.
Campers used part of their day to reflect on what they learned during their week at Water Journey camp. At a large touchscreen called the Geodesign, campers used GIS mapping technology to explore the story of water from the Mississippi, to their drinking fountain and back again. They each collected a few drops of Mississippi river water (from a sample we'd taken at River Park) into small vials attached to necklaces, to remember their experiences at the river. Finally, each camper selected two favorite photos from the many they had taken this week. Campers captioned their photos so that they could be displayed in the Water Journey camp exhibit at the Institute on the Environment.

Campers test the pH of a water sample.
Campers also challenged their science skills today. Working in small teams, campers conducted experiments on water samples from six different locations we visited. They found each sample's temperature, dissolved oxygen content, turbidity, and pH. When they talked through their findings as a group, several interesting similarities and differences between samples stuck out to the campers. For example, the pH and turbidity of their drinking fountain water exactly matched the pH and turbidity of finished water at the water treatment plant. The campers were also shocked to find that the water from the flocculation chamber inside the treatment plant had a pH and turbidity much higher than any other samples. All water testing results went on display at the Water Journey camp exhibit.
A camper shares the Water Journey exhibit with her family.

To cap off their week, campers enjoyed showing their parents around the Water Journey exhibit at the exhibit opening on Friday afternoon. University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students and visitors will also have the chance to learn about water's journey through campers' eyes at the exhibit, which is open through the end of June.

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