Water Connections at Gordon Terrace

Gordon Terrace School

Gordon Terrace Elementary
  • Mixed Primary School Grades
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

Community Coach(es): 

Stewart Wilson, various community members,

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Two primary classes at Gordon Terrace Elementary School have been going weekly to a nearby wetland called Elizabeth Lake. This year it was decided by the teachers to focus on the water. I would like to say we are finished with our inquiry about water, but our first question has led us to asking more questions. The initial question was to learn about the storm drains around Gordon Terrace and find out where they went.

Kate Ruoss’s grade 1/2 class wanted to learn about water quality, and used borrowed equipment from a parent who tests water for their job. They tested the water over several weeks in the fall to learn about pH, water turbidity, dissolved oxygen and temperature. They are now asking more questions about the effect of the storm drains running directly into Elizabeth Lake, and want to continue testing in the spring. While testing water, students were concerned about a broken dock. They have been writing letters to the City of Cranbrook to find out more about the dock that is broken and hope to help build a new one in the spring. In exploring storm drains it was also discovered that one of the drains was plugged with garbage.

Jenn Doll’s grade 3 class has been involved with cleaning up and learning about the effects of garbage on water quality. They have learned about watersheds and have more questions about water sources of Elizabeth Lake.

Joanna Popoff’s kindergarten class has enjoyed exploring the drains as well.

This project has turned into an inquiry unit that does not have an end. Students have been invested in learning about the water and how we as humans intervene with flow and quality of the water and how that impacts on the ecosystems.