Carrying Water at The Chicago River

First-year stuents in the Water class visited the Chicago River to collect water. In the first unit of this STEAM course, students have been pursuing the guiding question, why is water so common yet so rare? . In their pursuit of an answer, students have been learning about the abundance of water found in living organisms while also investigating the scarcity of potable water that leaves millions of people without clean water on a daily basis.

For this Field Experience, students investigated the guiding question, How can you get access to water in case of a shortage or crisis?. They collected containers from home: liter bottles, gallon jugs, Camelbak backpacks, and coolers and filled them up with water the nearest public water source, the North branch of the Chicago River. Once the containers were filled, they made the trek back to school, careful not to spill any water along the way. When the students made it back to school with, they measured the amount of water they collected and reflected on their daily water usage.

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