What is in my water?
After hearing news from Flint, Michigan about lead poisoning from tap water, second and third graders from Wickliffe Elementary in Upper Arlington became concerned about their own drinking water supply. Students in Ms. Coplin's class learned about the effect of lead on human health as well as how lead got into Flint's drinking water. Aware of her students' continuing curiosity about the Flint case and how water quality affects their community, Ms. Coplin invited Dr. Zuzana Bohrerova, Associate Director of The Ohio Water Resources Center and Research Specialist in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering Department at OSU, to introduce the water treatment process to her students.
Dr. Bohrerova discussed the importance of keeping our water source clean and detailed some treatment process steps. The students participated in a hands-on activity on coagulation, where they took cloudy river water samples and partially cleaned them by adding non-toxic chemicals. The second and third graders observed the cloudiness being converted to clumps and settling in the bottom of the receptacles.
After this experiment, Dr. Bohrerova discussed the water distribution system and how the City of Columbus works to protect the city's water pipes from corrosion.
Inspired by the Flint story and all they learned during their research, the Wickliffe students then organized a fundraiser in the community and sent the collected donations to the Flint Child and Health Development Fund.