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  • In this activity, students research the effect of common pollutants on our waterways and hold a mock trial to determine the worst pollutant in the country.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • understand what is polluting our waterways
    • understand that how detrimental a pollutant is to the environment depends on how harmful it is, how often and how much it contaminates and how easy it is to clean up
    • realise that the best way to control pollution can mean stopping it from happening in the first place
    • research an issue to understand different ‘sides’, then argue for and against it with others.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • student handout.

    Related activities

    Learn about water quality with the activity Water issues.

    Examine soil quality issues with Site clean-up and Biodegradability experiment.

    Groundwater contamination models how contaminants enter aquifer systems.

    The activity Water issues and effects explores common water quality issues and encourages students to consider alternative ways of dealing with the issues rather than keeping the status quo.

    Useful link

    The New Zealand Water and Wastes Association provides the pamphlet, download the PDF: Keep it clean: Preventing stormwater pollution.

      Published 23 June 2008, Updated 23 February 2015 Referencing Hub articles
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