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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Nov. 18, 2002

KU Researchers Receive NSF Education Grant

LAWRENCE--Researchers from the University of Kansas have received a two-year, $158,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop the prototype of an interactive web-site to help teach high school and community college students about groundwater.

The grant is to the Kansas Geological Survey, based on KU's west campus, and the Upward Bound Math Science Center in the KU School of Education, in collaboration with Pathfinder Science, the Kansas StreamLink program, Kansas City Kansas Community College, and the Lawrence, Kansas USD 497.

The researchers will develop and test a web site to help students learn about the movement of groundwater and the impact of humans on water, both surface water and groundwater. The web site will feature role-playing exercises that focus on students solving simulated environmental problems, such as the movement of underground contaminant plumes toward a water supply.

"Public understanding of groundwater is often lacking, in part because many of these processes occur underground and cannot be seen directly," said Survey geohydrologist Allen Macfarlane, principal investigator for the project. "Public education about the impact of human activities on water is crucial in helping society to make informed decisions about the environment."

A prototype of the web site will be used and evaluated over the next two years as part of the KU Math Science Center Summer Institute and in classes at Kansas City Kansas Community College, Lawrence High School, and other high schools across Kansas.

Links of interest to this article:
Pathfinder Science
Kansas StreamLink
Story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-2106
For more information, Allen Macfarlane, (785) 864-2068
Kansas Geological Survey, Public Outreach