The Grade 2 Social Studies curriculum begins with a focus on classroom community. Students engage in an in-depth study of map skills, building their awareness of local and world geography. The mapping unit leads to a study of land masses and water sources. Students learn about water in the region, including rivers, the Long Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean, and how people use water in the Stamford area.
Earlier this year, students surveyed their families on how they use water at home and interviewed the kitchen staff and other faculty members on how they use water at King. The next step in the unit was their field trip to the Stamford Water Treatment Facility earlier this week.
During the field trip, students learned the difference between a storm drain and a sewer drain and that storm water goes to the beaches, which is why they are closed sometimes after heavy rain because the water is polluted. The class conducted an experiment with paper in a cup putting different paper products in the cup (tissues, wipes, toilet paper) to see which actually becomes dispersible.
Next, students watched a video on how the water is treated and then they put on hard hats and made their way outside to witness the process firsthand. Most students were fascinated with the bar screen, which is the first step and catches large debris. The "rags" (paper products) are the most and largest debris they catch along with toys and money. The students were also fascinated by the aeration tank as it was where they use microorganisms and oxygen to clean the water.
Students shared some of their favorite parts of the day:
"My favorite part of the trip was seeing the microorganisms. I can help keep the water clean by not putting garbage in sewer drains." - Kate
"It was very fun doing the experiment to see what paper was flushable. I can help save water by not taking long showers and baths." - Evan I.
"My favorite part was getting to see all the microorganisms in the big pool feeding on the junk in the water. And, people should never take 25 minute showers because they are wasting most of the water." - Ethan
"I liked learning how they clean the water." - Adria