8th Grade Expedition 2017: “Water Is Life!”

8th Grade Expedition 2017: “Water Is Life!”

Water plays a crucial role in the development of communities throughout history. It is a source of conflict, cooperation, and competition between stakeholders in a community. Understanding the history and science of water–biologically and chemically–is key to maintaining water quality and explaining how a water source can serve multiple needs and uses.  On this 8th grade expedition, students will investigate the meaning of the phrase “Water is Life” from historical, literary, and scientific perspectives. Specifically, students will explore The Story of Hominy Creek, through:

Water Quality data collection in science (

Data analysis in math/

Stream cleans by CREWS in various locations along the creek/


culminating in a TED-styled talk in ELA where students create a presentation about a solution to the problem of water quality through the lens of remediation or a policy based solution to the long term problem of water quality in the Hominy creek.


Guiding Questions & Big Ideas
Students are seeking answers to four questions with regards to water quality of Hominy Creek & French Broad River Valley:

What is the problem? Why does water quality matter?  Where does the problem start? What is currently being done? What can we do?  

In order to pose research-based solutions (both through proposing policies and taking steps to remediate water quality and sustainability practices) students will deepen inquiry with these questions:

How can we balance the needs of people and the environment?
How does human activity influence the availability of our water resources?
How should humans manage water resources in a way that is sustainable?

How should humans manage Hominy Creek in a way that is sustainable?

Big Ideas:

  • Human activity can affect the availability of usable, fresh water.
  • Humans use water for many things and manage water in a variety of ways.
  • Sustainable water management is important in order to ensure that the needs of people and the environment will continue to be met.
  • Making an evidence-based decision relies on research and an analysis of consequences and stakeholders.




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Having kicked off our WATER IS LIFE! Expedition, integrating multiple perspectives from various French Broad Rivershed stakeholders, including : Mountain True, Greenworks ,Riverlink, French Broad Outfitters, Buncombe County Soil and Water, NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources, Environmental Quality Institute  EQI… Franklin 8th Graders are gaining practice in  Citizen Science and problem-solving, collecting water quality data on Hominy Creek.  This data includes: turbidity, flow, temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity… even on the chilliest of March days!  Students are learning to make predictions and test their theories about correlations between such variables as conductivity and temperature/precipitation.  This data will be analyzed to inform student-generated policy proposals for water quality and management of our French Broad Rivershed.  Stay tuned for updates!


Water IS Life!





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Earth Day News Flash!  From Mr. Jester’s ELA Class:


“Guys!!! WE CLEANED (pun) UP!!! Check out the pics below…

Congrats to Kailey, Isabel, Salvadora, Lucas, & Quinn M. for bringing home awards today!

And, check the link below to see Salvadora’s work chosen to represent the whole festival on WLOS!

And thanks to all who participated.”

Happy Earth Day!

(Saturday April 22, 2017 11:19 AM, EDT)

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