September 21-23, 2018

MDI Biological Laboratory and Dartmouth College, in collaboration with multiple partners in Maine and New Hampshire, are launching a new project called: “Data to Action: A secondary school-based citizen science project to address arsenic contamination of well water”.

We are seeking High School and Middle School science teachers from Maine and New Hampshire who are interested in engaging their students as citizen scientists by integrating well water monitoring into their science curriculum.

Our overall goal is to provide teachers and students with the tools, skills and support to make sense of well water data so that their analyses can inform actions at the community level, resulting in positive public health outcomes.

Teachers are required to participate in at least one DataLit Institute at MDI Biological Laboratory before initiating classroom projects. Apply now for participation during the 2018-2019 school year. Please contact the Education Director at MDI Biological Laboratory if you have not previously been in contact regarding participation in this project.

The DataLit Institute will provide time to engage in developing research and data literacy skills as well as developing a groundwater curriculum with a focus on arsenic monitoring.

As part of their experience at the Institute, teachers will have the opportunity to collect water samples, run water quality tests in the laboratory, and learn about quality assurance/quality control of data, and responsible conduct of research. They also will hone their data visualization and data analysis skills using Excel and Tuva data literacy software with data literacy experts from Tuva.

After completion of the DataLit Institute, Maine and New Hampshire teachers will implement arsenic monitoring projects in their classrooms, with support from local scientist mentors.

  • Teachers will integrate monitoring well water for arsenic into new or existing watershed curriculum.
  • Students will collect well water from their tap and/or distribute project information and water collection containers to community members. Teachers will ship samples to the Trace Element Analysis Core at Dartmouth and receive data in return.
  • Parents/community members will receive data reports on their samples; anonymous data will be uploaded into our online data portal, Anecdata.org.
  • Students will learn to use Tuva Data Literacy software to interpret and display data for sharing with their communities.
  • Teachers and students will host a public meeting and share data with parents and community members.