GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 30-13
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-5:30 PM


FRYAR, Alan E.1, HANLEY, Carol2, FREEMAN, Rebecca L.1 and SHERMAN, Amanda R.1, (1)Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Kentucky, 101 Slone Building, Lexington, KY 40506-0053, (2)Environmental and Natural Resources Initiative, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, 206 Dimock Building, Lexington, KY 40546-0076

Maintaining access to sufficient amounts of clean water for human and environmental needs is a global challenge. Education and community engagement are critical to addressing this. Through a grant from the U.S. State Department, we conducted a year-long project linking nine public high schools from Kentucky with ten private, English-language schools from three states in eastern India. The project was organized into three online modules focusing on the water cycle, water quality, and human impacts. Each module includes a narrated slideshow with general information and examples from Kentucky and India; activities involving online data sets; and guidelines for class projects. Students developed slideshows, podcasts, posters, videos, and websites on local water issues and water utilization, which are accessible via the project website (

Students at each school conducted research projects, which involved a literature review of local water bodies, collection of preliminary data using water-quality test kits, and submission of a proposal, which was reviewed by scientific professionals. The highest-rated Indian team (DAV Model School, Durgapur) traveled to Kentucky in April 2018 and presented their findings at the GSA Southeastern Section meeting. The highest-rated Kentucky team (Belfry High School) presented their findings at a workshop with the Indian participants at the American Center in Kolkata in June. Eight of the Indian schools prepared video summaries of their projects, which were reviewed by an undergraduate class in World Water Issues at the University of Kentucky.

Challenges included difficulty in assessment and, particularly for Kentucky schools, in integrating the activities into existing curricula. Students were given pre- and post-tests to measure water-quality awareness and water content knowledge. Because of cultural differences, the two cohorts of students may have interpreted test questions differently. Nonetheless, the proposals, final papers, and videos indicated that the Indian students understood hydrologic concepts, and the project affected their awareness of water-quality issues. Anecdotal comments indicated that participants, including the undergraduate reviewers, valued the cross-cultural aspects of the project.

  • 2018__GSA_WIIKY_Poster_DFINAL.pptx (13.5 MB)