DeForest Area High School science teachers Kelly Kramer and Caryn Odgers recently received a sand-tank groundwater model (valued at $700) and a chance to learn about groundwater and the sand-tank groundwater flow model through exploration, demonstration, and experimentation.
Kramer and Odgers were awarded the model and a chance to attend the workshop based on an application they submitted earlier this year. On February 1st, they traveled to Mount Horeb to see experienced users demonstrate the model and develop a demonstration appropriate for their students’ grade level.
As part of the work, they also toured the Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey (WGNHS) Core Lab, where they learned more about “wellhead protection.” WGNHS staff talked about important local and statewide groundwater issues, led a groundwater contour mapping exercise, and helped teachers build a 3-D model of Wisconsin’s geology using clay.
In a letter from Kevin Masarik, Groundwater Education Specialist for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, he congratulated Kramer and Odgers for their success, referring to groundwater as “Wisconsin’s buried treasure because the vast majority of Wisconsin residents rely on groundwater as their primary water supply?” “I greatly appreciate the role that all educataors play in helping students learn about this important resource that isn’t easily observed or understood. The models can be used to teach about a variety of earth science, math, chemistry, and even social science topics. They are a valuable teaching tool for educating tomorrow’s future geologists, scientists, engineers, and future leaders. My hope is that the model and the professional development that recipients received will benefit the students for many years to come,” said Masarik.
According to Odgers and Kramer they truly appreciated the opportunity. “This was one of the most valuable workshops I have ever attended. Kevin Masarik, the DNR and WGNHS experts, along with the UW-SP students who build the groundwater models passed on a wealth of knowledge that will greatly increase our ability to educate students about the importance of groundwater and how we affect it. This is a tremendously valuable addition to our biology program at the high school,” said Caryn Odgers.
“I loved learning about all of the groundwater issues in our state. Wisconsin has a lot of water resources, but if we don’t learn how to protect them many aspects of our life could be affected,” said Kelly Kramer.