The HP Catalyst Initiative enables students a world apart to collaborate on solutions to a global challenge.
WATER QUALITY CHALLENGE
Children in two middle schools have rolled up their sleeves to conduct real scientific research into water pollution, funded by the HP Catalyst Initiative as part of the Global Collaboratory Consortium
The two schools are working together although they are a world apart. One is in Stamford, Connecticut, USA (Scofield Magnet Middle School) while the other is in Jinan, Shandong Province, China (Shandong University Middle School).
To document their findings, students use global positioning satellite technology, HP mobile calculating lab probes, and HP calculators and notebook computers, along with geographic information systems software.
The American students are tracking data on water quality, topography, drainage, flora, and fauna. They also work with community organizations to investigate the impact of communities and urban development on the local waterways.
The Chinese students are studying the nearby Huangshui River Basin, one of the most polluted river systems in China. By working collaboratively, these youngsters are casting an international spotlight on the growing issue of poor water quality.
Throughout the project, students will learn how to conduct water quality tests; create maps and analyze data around water quality; learn how to use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to track, measure, and analyze collected data; collaborate with local water quality experts around water quality; share results between the two schools; and more.
The kids are testing pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, fecal coliform, turbidity, water flow, water depth, and temperature, using GPS, HP mobile calculating lab probes, HP calculators, notebook computers, and GIS software to document their findings.
Real research with real global collaboration, along with direct exposure to scientists and engineers, helps these students make connections between problems in their communities and the science involved in solving these problems.
Surveys held by the schools show increased student engagement and interest in science-related subjects. By practicing skills and techniques that can help them in future science-based or environmental careers – they are also addressing urgent global challenges.