Groundwater Contamination: Trouble in Fruitvale

Groundwater Contamination: Trouble in Fruitvale Book Cover
Groundwater Contamination: Trouble in Fruitvale is a SEPUP module designed for use in grades 6–12. The module contains a series of 12 activities that provide approximately 3–4 weeks of instruction.

This module focuses on earth science concepts such as the water cycle, groundwater pollution, map making, and map interpretation. These concepts are used in an investigation of groundwater contamination in the fictional city of Fruitvale. Students design and carry out a plan for testing water from different parts of the city to determine the contamination’s source, severity, extent, and rate of travel. These data are used to analyze the risk to Fruitvale’s water supply. Students then read about several clean-up options and participate in a role play of a town meeting to decide which clean-up option to use. Students are assessed on their ability to analyze data.

Each module includes a Teacher’s Guide containing reproducible student pages and a kit containing the equipment required to conduct the activities with five classes of 32 students. The Teacher’s Guide provides specific strategies to facilitate and assess student learning.


Shown below is the table of contents for the teacher’s guide, which contains reproducible student pages.


Module at a Glance

Guide to the Module

Activity 1: The Fruitvale Story, Part One
Student Investigation: The Mystery of Fruitvale’s Water

Activity 2: Understanding Groundwater
Student Investigation: The Original Super Soaker

Activity 3: Exploring the Water Cycle
Student Investigation: Traveling with a Drop of Water

Activity 4: Interpreting Maps
Student Investigation: Maps and More Maps

Activity 5: Modeling Groundwater Contamination
Student Investigation: Points and Plumes

Activity 6: Understanding Concentration
Student Investigation: Disappearing Dye

Activity 7: The Fruitvale Story, Part Two
Student Investigation: Pesky Pesticide

Activity 8: Testing for Pesticide Concentrations
Student Investigation: Testing the Waters

Activity 9: Drawing Isomaps
Student Investigation: Mapping Plumes

Activity 10: Making an Isoconcentration Map
Student Investigation: Mapping It Out

Activity 11: Damage Assessment
Student Investigation: How Bad Can It Be?

Activity 12: Decision Making
Student Investigation: Choosing a Cleanup Plan

Appendix A: Materials
Appendix B: Background
Appendix C: Assessment
Appendix D: Glossary