Last Friday, I visited the panhandle town of Perryton, for the North Plains Groundwater Conservation Districts’ (NPGCD) water festival. The event was hosted at Frank Phillips College Allen campus. The Public Information and Conservation Education Manager for the NPGCD, Kirk Welch, was kind enough to allow me to visit each presentation at the festival so I could get an inside look at what it takes to host such an event.
Fourth grade classes located within the NPGCD were bused to the Frank Phillips college campus for a day of learning about groundwater. The students had just finished their TAKS testing so they were more than happy to be out of the classroom for the day!
I began my morning at the H20 Olympics. This particular class was taught by Frank Phillips College students. The students were told about the cohesion and adhesion.
Cohesion is the term for molecules of a substance sticking together. One of the most common examples is water beading up on a hydrophobic surface
Adhesion is the tendency of certain dissimilar molecules to cling together due to attractive forces. In contrast, cohesion takes place between similar molecules.
As part of their Olympics game, the students were asked to see how many water droplets they could place on a penny. The students used an eye dropper to test their cohesion skills.
Other students were busy with their own experiment. They were trying to see how many pennies they could drop in a glass before allowing the water to come out of their glass. One group of boys had 115 pennies in their glass!
My next stop was at the “What’s In My Water” station, taught by NPGCD Randy & Dale. They were teaching the students about the different components that can be tested in water. The students were then able to test the PH level of the water in the classroom.
I then traveled down the hall to “Get the Groundwater Picture”, that was being taught by Brenda Gillespie of the Panhandle GCD. Brenda spoke to the students about the water cycle and the different aquifers in the United States, including the Ogallala. She showed the students the importance of clean water and conservation by using her groundwater model.
The “Aquatic Artwork” station was taught by the Frank Phillips College students. The 4th graders were asked to draw a picture of what water reminds them of. I enjoyed walking around and seeing what everyone was drawing and I had to hold myself back from picking up a brush and making my own picture!