INTEGRATING NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS: MODELS ON WATER AVAILABILITY PROBLEMS IN THE US
The first unit from this PD was focused on water availability. It is a well-known that water scarcity is an endemic problem with nearly every region facing acute water shortages. Around one-fifth of the world's population live in areas of physical scarcity, with more approaching this situation. In the U.S., it seems implausible that a powerful river like the Colorado River could be reduced to a trickle. Also, Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the US, have started to decline as people continue to flock to southwestern cities such as Las Vegas and as farmers keep watering the desert. In this unit, participants created an initial conceptual water availability model of this problem. Then, throughout the unit, participants investigated this issue deeply through a series of inquiry-based class activities that were grounded in evidence-based literacy instructional practices. Some of these investigations included activities about soil types, climate change, population growth, and human constructions. Finally, participants used these activities as evidence to revise their initial conceptual water availability model eliciting factors affecting groundwater availability. To accompany their models, participants were able to write a comprehensive explanation of endemic water shortages from many part of the US.