Inspiring and Engaging the Next Generation

Photo of high school students learning about groundwater
High school students investigating rock core and geologic logs to produce a geologic cross-section in order to understand the possible contaminant migration pathways and location of aquitards

On April 26th and 27th G360 participated in the campus wide Interaction conference for Grade 10 and 11 students. Approximately 900 students from all over Southern Ontario attended this conference to participate in unique workshops and have new experiences at the University of Guelph. At this conference G360 was proud to offer our new workshop:

“Wanted: Environmental Scientists Interested in Water Resources”

In this interactive and hands-on workshop, newly designed by Tara Harvey, students were able to put their detective, scientific, and engineering skills to the test by solving a groundwater contaminated site ‘mystery’. The workshop was a theoretical scenario that hydrogeologists at G360 may encounter, scaled down to fit inside a classroom. Students had one hour to collect background data, perform geologic investigations, take hydraulic measurements, and conduct laboratory tests on ‘contaminated’ groundwater samples; basically cramming months worth of work into a very small amount of time.

For most of the students this was their first time really learning about groundwater and groundwater investigations. After completing the workshop, each student can now walk away with a new perspective and knowledge of groundwater research, the investigative tools and methods used, and the types of questions scientists ask.

In an interdisciplinary field of research we encouraged the students to explore their passions and consider how they can contribute to groundwater research in each of their desired fields.

High school students testing ‘groundwater’ samples from the ‘site’ to determine the presence or absence of contaminants (salt).
High school students using standard methods to collect hydraulic data (water levels) from the 8 wells at the ‘site’
High school students collecting background data from the ‘contaminated site’
Aquifer demo showing the impacts of various geologic materials on groundwater and contaminant flow
Groundwater samples for analysis from 7 of the 8 wells at the ‘site’.
A ‘contaminated’ groundwater sample containing salt.