The human population on Earth is now more than 7.5 billion, and growing quickly. With more and more of us living an energy-intensive, modern lifestyle, the environmental stresses from human activity continue to increase. Greenhouse gases leading to global warming and fertilizer runoff resulting in marine "dead zones" are just two examples of large-scale environmental impacts from human activity. Try one of our environmental engineering projects to see how science, engineering and technology can help us take good care of our environment while still enjoying the comforts of a modern lifestyle.
When pesticides are applied to protect crops, run-off of potentially harmful pesticides is a major problem. Can water plants such as hardstem bulrush, common cattail, parrotfeather and smooth scouring rush promote pesticide breakdown? If so, diversion of irrigation run-off into plant-filled ponds could help reduce pesticide pollution. Mix malathion at 12.5% of the recommended application strength (to simulate dilution by rain or irrigation water). Use 5-gallon buckets for testing various…
Your drinking water probably started out brown and muddy. Are you surprised? Maybe you were picturing it flowing from a clean mountain spring instead? All over the world, including in 68% of American homes, people get their drinking water from rivers, lakes, and other surface waters. This water is filled with dirt, debris, and other contaminants as it travels hundreds of miles. So, how does your drinking water go from brown and muddy to crystal clear? Often, flocculants—substances that…
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Short (2-5 days)
Some basic knowledge in chemistry would be helpful, but is not necessary.
This project requires special electronic parts available from our partner
See the Materials section for details. For data analysis, a spreadsheet program, such as Google SheetsTM or Microsoft® Excel®, is helpful.