Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It's Water-Wise Wednesday with Frannie the Fish {Visit a Stream}

This week Frannie wants to share a fun activity that incorporates math, getting outdoors and having fun all while learning about water! Visit a Stream is a fun way to calculate the flow rate of the water in a stream or river! Flow rate is the time required for a volume of water to move between two points.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Tape measure
  • Several sticks
  • Stopwatch
  • Calculator
  • Pencil and paper

Here's what you do:
1. Be sure to read through The Groundwater Foundation's Safety First document.
2. Measure a 100-foot distance along the bank of a stream. Place a group of Girl Scouts at the upstream end of the stream with the sticks, and the other group downstream 100 feet away with the stopwatch.

3. When both groups are ready, the upstream group places a stick in the river and the downstream group times how long it takes for the stick to reach them.
4. Switch the groups and repeat the process several times, recording the data on a sheet of paper to compute the average. Have the Girl Scouts calculate how many feet per second the river is flowing (100 feet divided by the time in seconds = feet per second). For example,
100 feet ÷ 53.5 seconds = 1.87 feet per second

The water in the stream is moving 1.87 feet every second!

For more fun!
Move to another part of the river and repeat. Or try this activity at different rivers or several different sections of the same river. Have the Girl Scouts compare and contrast the different rivers/sections, noting any physical features that may affect the speed of the water. For example:
  • Curves
  • Straightaways
  • Slight downhill flows
  • Rocks
  • Islands
  • Etc.

Share pictures of your troop visiting a stream to be featured on Frannie's Blog!