Implementation of ‘Water is Life: Give Life to The Future’ (SOI-TR-259)


The scenario Water is Life: Give Life to The Future (LS-TR-536), created by Ayşe Arslanhan, offers the opportunity to learn the importance of water, the most important compound for life, from different perspectives.

I applied this scenario to an 11-year-old group of 6 students studying at the Science and Art School in Turkey. This group is also called the gifted (gifted). I first talked to the students about the Europeana project online for 45 minutes and then introduced the Europeana portal. We made a joint decision with the students while choosing the scenario. The students wanted a scenario that deals with the theme of water because of the world water day celebrated in March. We evaluated the scenarios together and decided on the scenario named Water is Life: Give to The Future (LS-TR-536).  We attached importance to this scenario within the scope of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Most of the 17 stated development goals cover the water issue. These are access to clean water, aquatic life and responsible consumption goals.

Learning Process and Tools

First of all, what is water? What is the importance of water for life? Do all people have access to clean potable water? What happens if the water cycle is disrupted? Their attention was drawn to the subject by asking some questions such as: Students also scanned Europeana resources.   They explored the importance of water for the world by examining Europeana sources that include water, lakes, rivers, clouds. Afterwards, the documentary films in the script were watched with the students. I can say that the aims of the scripts of the documentary films overlap.

In the next stage, a brainstorming was held about the consequences of pollution of lakes with oil and oil. Then, an open field experiment was conducted on this pollution. Temperature data and volumes of oil-contaminated water and non-polluted water were measured at 24-hour intervals. The students encountered an unexpected result.

They observed that pollution affects the temperature of the water, the amount of evaporation. This exploration activity has been very useful. They grasped how the water cycle is physically affected. In the next step, we took water samples from different places. In order to determine the pollution level of these waters, dissolved oxygen determination was made. At the same time, the relationship between oxygen and water temperature in the water was observed. With this study, students tested the microbial activity of water. It was quite a nice experience.

They learned about the biological importance of water as well as its physical properties. After learning the physical and biological properties of water, they directly questioned its chemical properties.

Heavy metal pollution and pH analysis were made with the water collected from different regions. Most notably, they realized that water can be polluted not only on earth, but also in the sky. For example, if air pollution is high in a place, some gases and particles in the air dissolve in water drops while it rains. It changes the structure of the water. Within the scope of the event, rain water collected from a city with very polluted air and rain water collected from a city with very clean air, germinated beans were watered. Two days after watering, the development of beans, which were the same size in the first place, became quite different. It was very effective in terms of the vital importance and chemical properties of water.

Students learned about the physical, chemical, and biological pollution of water. As a result of this, students will be able to get dirty water; I wanted them to make a water purification filter project that could clean chemically, physically, and biologically. In this process, students carry out the scientific process and engineering design process simultaneously; They have developed filters that will clean dirty water physically, chemically, and biologically.

Students presented the filters they developed in the lesson and evaluated them in terms of functionality. Physical, chemical, and biological analyzes were made for the treated water. The most efficient filters were selected. Students uploaded their work to the Padlet web 2.0 tool. At the end of the event, a knowledge contest about water was held with the Kahoot application. Almost all of the students answered all the questions correctly. As a result, we came across a finding on the efficiency of the activities.

Evaluation within the Scope of STEAM (STEM + Art)

Through this learning scenario, students can: In Science; They learnt the science process skills effectively. In the field of technology; They learned how to use Web 2.0 tools and mobile applications. In the field of engineering; learned the properties of materials and developed products. In the field of art; they learned the importance of water and artistic elements including water-related designs. They discovered the importance of adding artistic value to their designs. For this reason, science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics disciplines acted together with this learning scenario activity. In this respect, it can be said that it is suitable for the STEAM (STEM + Art) approach.

               Learning Outcomes, Conclusion, and Recommendations

The learning scenario was prepared according to the flipped learning model. However, since face-to-face training was introduced in our institution, we implemented most of the activities face-to-face. Very few of them were applied online and offline. In general, the recommended time was sufficient. However, I think that the recommended time may not be enough when working with a large number of students.

Students developed 21st-century skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and technology use competencies. They discovered the properties of water and its importance for life quite effectively. At the same time, their interest in cultural heritage increased with the works they saw on the Europeana portal. Although this scenario is written according to the flipped model, it can also be applied face-to-face. I found it quite successful in this respect. I think every science teacher should implement this very comprehensive scenario.

As a suggestion, I would like to point out the following. Too many web 2.0 tools are included in the scenario. Although it makes sense for the pandemic period, I think the number of web 2.0 tools should be reduced during post-pandemic face-to-face training applications. At the same time, the scenario flow can be simplified, since it seemed complicated at first, I applied it directly by reducing it to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of water and cultural heritage elements related to water. Thank you to the author.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?

Water is Life: Give Life to The Future created by Ayşe ARSLANHAN

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Rijksmuseum.

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