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Educator Resource: Curriculum Module


Why is water so important for life as we know it? Explore water quality, your local watershed, bioaccumulation of contaminants, and bioremediation methods.
Middle School
Time required
A minimum of six 50-minute sessions

Students explore the water cycle, learn why water is so important for life as we know it, and investigate the fate of contaminants in a watershed. Bioaccumulation, biomagnification, water quality testing and bioremediation are specifically addressed. The unit culminates with an investigation of the factors affecting microbial remediation of an environmental pollutant and the use of bioremediation at the waste water treatment plant at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.



MS-LS1-5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

MS-LS2-5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.* 

MS-ESS2-4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.

MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.*

6-8-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

6-8-ETS1-3 Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

6-8-ETS1-4 Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.