I never know what kids will discover while outside. On a recent trip to Parfrey’s Glen State Natural Area, the kids were fascinated by a hand water pump.
The kids liked pumping the handle and then seeing the water come out. They were mystified by how the water could keep coming out even after they stopped pumping. “Why does the water keep coming?” I explained something about the pressure in the pipe and that there was enough pressure left to bring the water to the surface.
Some kids thought there was a tank underground. When I told them that the water was stored between rocks deep in the earth they asked, “How does the water get there?” “How is it cleaned?” This led to a short explanation of how the rocks and soil act as a filter for pollution. My co-teacher mentioned that this is why we are careful about what we put on the ground.
I could see their little minds turning. Some of the kids were just five years old so I’m not sure they quite understood the whole concept. Heck, many adults don’t fully understand how ground water works.
I was thrilled that something as fun as a water pump brought up the topic. It’s learning at it’s best…hands-on and fun. It was tough getting them away from the pump. Of course, a call for lunch did the trick.