Studying soil profiles and percolation rates

Rebecca Dobson teaches Environmental Science for 11th and 12th graders at Bristol High School in Trumbull County. Dobson attended an OOGEEP teacher workshop and found it helpful in her teaching. “The workshop allowed me to expand on activities I was already using. However, the most valuable part was the acquisition of accurate and relevant information and data regarding oil and natural gas drilling in our area,” Dobson said. “I would recommend the workshop because there was no wasted time and most everything we did and learned was hands-on and relevant to our area.”

Dobson’s students participated in a series of activities to show soil profiles and the rock and bedrock layers beneath. These activities included using a soil auger to bring up soil layers in the soil profile on school grounds. We also placed empty containers (with both ends cut out) on bare soil, grass, and leaf litter in the woods. We then poured equal amounts of water into the containers and timed how long it took to percolate through, noting the varying percolation rates in different areas. The third activity was to view and discuss a groundwater model and how surface water can pollute groundwater. The students enjoyed the activities and recognized the information as relevant due to oil and gas well activity in our area.