I had the honor once again to make a presentation to two 4th grade classes at a local elementary school during their Oregon Trail unit. The question posed to the students was:
Your wagon train has broken down, and you need to find water for your entire group. What can you do to make sure the water is safe?
I came in to cover the topic of water treatment. The presentation was based on several key points:
- What kinds of hazards/dangers do you need to address with water (or food in general)?
- What did pioneers on the Oregon trail know about these hazards in 1811-1840? (hint: no germ theory yet)
- Which hazards do different treatments address, and which ones would have been available at the time?
The presentation consists of me blabbering and motioning wildly, a powerpoint, and a visual aid. The visual is a set of configurable pegboards to represent different filtration “pore” sizes, and demonstrate how effective they might be depending on the situation.
I can’t post the ppt here because I’m certain I used a number of copyright images. However I was able to record the presentation this year, so I can make the audio available. It’s about 25 minutes long including the questions. But if you’re into this kind of thing, or want to learn about different water treatments, enjoy!