Science Junction

Water What-ifs

Using Collected Data for Inquiry Lessons in Your Classroom and Additional Water Quality Data Sets

Now that your class has collected data, submitted it to Water What-ifs, and looked at data collected by other schools, how can you use it to facilitate inquiry learning in your classroom? 

The following list of questions and ideas are just a few examples for encouraging the use critical thinking skills by your students: 

  • Based on the location of the site or the longitude and latitude numbers, how does the water quality data change? Look at several parameters, pH, dissolved oxygen, or temperature, to determine differences among locations. 
  • Based on the land use around the body of water, how does the data differ from location to location. Does the local land use and the upstream land use have an effect on the data? 
  • Have the students research different water quality parameters, temperature, dissolved oxygen, or pH, and then discuss how changes will effect aquatic life. Look at all the collected data, North Carolina and Delaware, and determine what types of macroinvertebrates would be found in each water sample and why.
  • Look at other water testing datasets and determine the water quality based on the results. The links at the bottom of the page will provide numerous water quality data from different areas. 
  • Ask questions and develop case studies about the data.
    • For example, looking at the data collected where the land use is agricultural, how would you expect the nitrate and phosphate readings to change in the early spring and why?
    • Looking at several data sets, determine the types of aquatic organisms you would expect to find based on the pH readings.
    • Ask students to hypothesize about what would happen to the nitrate and phosphate levels if there was a raw sewage spill. How would this effect the dissolved oxygen levels? 

Map of Neuse River Data Collection Sites
Neuse River Water Quality Conditions Station Location Information 

Water Quality Data For the Neuse River

The data collected includes pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, salinity, and temperature. 

  • Neuse River at New Bern, NC
  • Neuse River at Channel Lt.11
  • Neuse River at Channel Lt.9

Water Quality Data From the University of North Carolina - Wilmington


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©1998 April J. Cleveland for Science Junction, NC State University. All rights reserved. 
page design by Lisa Leonor Grable and April J. Cleveland 
Last Modified: 5/15/01
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