STEM session 1 – Filtration
Wednesday was our first STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) meeting and this week we were doing filtration.
At the beginning of the evening, Rob showed us a power point with some interesting facts on the water supply and filtration system in Nepal. He showed us how people use water in Nepal i.e. what their toilet system is like. We then attempted to make our own mini filtration system. Each patrol was given a price list of item that we could use to build our system. Each patrol represented a country and was given a credit (fake money) to by their materials ranging from 20 – 400 credits. Some of the items that we could by were coarse gravel, fine gravel, coarse sand, fine sand, coal, cheese cloths, 1 litre bottles, 2 litre bottles, rubber bands and a capture cup. The price of these materials was anything from 2 – 20 credits. We were each given a jug of muddy water that we had to filtrate before the end of the session. When we go to Nepal we will visit the local water filtration system.
On the 15th November, the group of scouts going to Nepal met again to discuss how Nepal gets clean water. The scouts learnt about the water filtration systems and the pumps that were put in Nepalese villages, as well as the problems with them. The scouts learnt that the pumps were installed because of disease being spread through the villages due to waste contaminating the rivers or water sources.
The main activity in that meeting was building model, miniature versions of the filtration systems using sand, gravel, cotton balls and other materials to mimic a true system. The scouts were assigned a country per patrol- these ranged from Sudan to the USA. The scouts found this task very difficult if they were a poorer country because they couldn’t afford the materials. Some patrols also couldn’t read all of the instructions, which represented the illiteracy rate of the country.
The task highlighted the fact that for the countries that were poor, everyday necessities like water were difficult to get, while it was important for the richer countries to be charitable and donate to the poorer countries in order for the people to survive.