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Water Literacy

There is an increasing need to address the diverse risks facing our public water supply, including climate change, emerging contaminants, and aging infrastructure. In order for the public and elected representatives to adequately address these challenges, it is necessary that they possess scientific understanding of natural and engineered water systems and their interconnections, as well as understanding of the social, political, and economic context that the water systems are situated in. Current K-12 science standards mention water primarily in learning about the water cycle and do not consistently carry ideas about water through grade levels or to subject areas beyond Earth science. There is an opportunity to become more interdisciplinary in our approach to teaching concepts relevant to water resource management.

Outreach Goals

  • Engage with Cornell students and the City of Ithaca to increase water literacy on campus and in the community
  • Develop water literacy curriculum for middle and high school students

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