Recommendations for Integration: This RWLO can be used in the first or second semester of general chemistry, in a general education chemistry course, or a basic environmental chemistry or environmental science course.
In the first semester of general chemistry, this RWLO could be used as a capstone project after students have practiced molecular geometry. They could first examine how the structure and composition of water accounts for water’s ability to dissolve ionic, polar and nonpolar solvents. Then they can proceed with the RWLO.
The RWLO could be used in a general education chemistry course as an example of a real world application of chemical concepts. Students can make connections between science and governmental policy and practices. If their lab skills are limited, they could use kits, such as those available through WWMD and Hach test kits to test their water samples
This RWLO would fit well with a unit on natural waters or water quality in an introductory environmental chemistry course.
Back-up: The instructor can download the spreadsheet with the data from the WWMD website so students can compare their data to those collected around the country. You can download and print community water quality reports and pass them out to the students.