With today’s data overloads, high school students and teachers will get a leg up on understanding the numbers behind well water contaminated with arsenic that leaches out of bedrock in Maine and New Hampshire.
They will learn data literacy courtesy of a $1.2 million federal grant over five years awarded to the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor. The grant is from the Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, an institute of the National Institutes of Health.
The goal is to establish a national learning model for science, technology, engineering and math secondary school education in data literacy. The project will focus on arsenic in well water, which is a major regional public health problem.
During the project students will learn how to manage and analyze data about water collected from their homes and to communicate their results to try to get action at the local, regional and national levels.
“Students are more likely to expand their scientific inquiry skills and retain what they learn when the data have relevance,” Jane Disney, senior staff scientist and director of education at the MDI Biological Laboratory, said. “The data they collect will be meaningful for them and their families, as well as for the larger community.”