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Questions and Reflections
The Questions and Reflections section presents a series of questions and video clips that offer students the opportunity to examine and explore compelling content and timely issues through three levels of increasingly complex thinking and reasoning skills. "What do you think?" prepares students with previewing questions to help them anticipate the ideas they will encounter. "Check it out!" provides basic facts, expert opinions, and an introduction to the complexities of the issues. "Explore more." uses investigation and analysis as students explore in-depth information.

* Choose an issue to investigate from the "At issue..." menu, then use the "What do you think?" questions to start the discussion. Select either the "Check it out!" or "Explore more." menus for an introduction or analysis. Each menu includes in-depth questions and a selection of clips from the feature program and Viewpoints collection. Once each selected clip is finished playing, you will automatically return to the menu.
  • At issue...
    State the topic. Establish the idea.
    Select one of six topics to get students thinking about specific ideas and issues.
  • What do you think?
    Think about issues. Narrow your focus.
    Use this previewing question to help students anticipate the ideas they will encounter.
  • Check it out!
    Get the facts. Delve deep.
    Use these clips to help students get the basic facts, expert opinions, and an introduction to the issues.
  • Explore more.
    Survey the stakeholders. Investigate the issue.
    Use these clips for investigation and analysis as students explore in-depth information and issues.

Explore More: Water Quality Questions and Reflections

At issue...
Uses and Practices
What do you think?
  • What are two ways you use water before you get to school each day?
  • What ways have you used water that you have taken for granted?
  • Who is upstream from you? Who is downstream from you?

Check it out!

  • How would soil erosion impact water quality? Why would improper disposal of paint affect water quality?
  • What practices do you see in your area that can negatively affect water quality?

Water Facts
Water Threats
The Puzzle
Ways We Use Water:
-Drinking Water
Impact of These Uses
We All Live Downstream From Each Other

Explore more.

  • Describe your current uses and practices that contribute, either positively or negatively, to water quality.
  • Why is water quality important? What actions can you take to improve water quality?

Lynette Seigley: Urban Settings
Scott Wesselmann: Urban Settings
L.D. McMullen: Emerging Contaminants
Bill Stowe: Emerging Contaminants
The Missing Puzzle Piece
Environmental Club at Work
Get Involved!

At issue...
Pollutants and Their Sources
What do you think?
  • Can a stream be perfectly clear and still be polluted? Can a stream look polluted and still be healthy?
  • If you bury a pollutant in the ground, can it also be considered a water pollutant?

Check it out!

  • List examples of the four pollutant types described in these video clips. Which of these do you think would be most difficult to handle? Why?

-Effects of Sediment
-Effects of Nutrients
-Risk to Humans
Industrial Chemicals
-Household and Agricultural Chemicals
-Emerging Contaminants
-Risks of Pathogens

Explore more.

  • What pollutants are likely problems in your area? What are the sources of these pollutants?
  • What is non-point-source pollution? What non-point-source pollution is in your area?
  • How does the hydrologic cycle move pollutants into water?

Lynette Seigley: Pollutants: Point vs. Non-Point
Bill Stowe: Regulations
Lynette Seigley: Sediment
Jim Kenyon: Ideal Development
Wayne Petersen: #1 Pollutant
Wayne Petersen: Other Pollutants
Robin Pruisner: Hypoxia

At issue...
The Watershed Approach
What do you think?
  • What is a watershed?
  • How does the way we use land affect water quality?

Check it out!

  • Identify the watershed in your area. What are the possible pollutants? What are the possible sources of the pollutants?

What Is a Watershed?
Pollutants in Watersheds
Watershed Management

Explore more.

  • What measures are in place to solve pollution problems in your watershed? What further steps should be taken?

Wayne Petersen: Native Ecosystem
Scott Wesselmann: Farm Management
Senator Joe Bolkcom: Buffer Strip Programs
Lynette Seigley: Nature's Filters
Wayne Petersen: Infiltrate More, Shed Less

At issue...
Excess Nutrients
What do you think?
  • What fertilizers are used in your area? Why are they used? Are these uses necessary?

Check it out!

  • What are the sources of nutrients in your watershed? What are the responsibilities of the users of these nutrients to protect water quality?

Hypoxia and the Dead Zone
Other Sources of Nutrients
Who Is Responsible?
Robin Pruisner: Hypoxia

Explore more.

  • What rights should users of nutrients have? What rights should they not have? Who should decide these rights?

L.D. McMullen: Regulation
Robin Pruisner: Best Management Practices
L.D. McMullen: Farm Management
Scott Wesselmann: Farm Management
Fred Kirschenmann: Pressure to Produce
Allen Burt: Price to Pay
Senator Joe Bolkcom: Regulations

At issue...
Manure Management
What do you think?
  • What comes to mind when you hear about manure spills or fish kills?
  • How can politicians influence farming practices?
  • How can the economic needs of farmers influence farming practices?

Check it out!

  • How have the farmers in your area been good stewards of the land? What are some areas for improvement?

Problems Caused by Manure
Animal Confinements
Storage of Manure
Application of Manure
Effects of Manure Pollution
Farmers as Stewards of the Land
No Simple Solutions

Explore more.

  • What unique problems do farmers face when balancing water quality and crop production?
  • What should be farmers’ responsibilities to the land, neighbors and society when dealing with manure management?

Amy Suarez: Toxic Pollution
Senator Joe Bolkcom: Farm Management
Bill Stowe: Farm Management
Fred Kirschenmann: Managing Manure
Fred Kirschenmann: Production Problems
Allen Burt: Manure as a Valuable Commodity
Allen Burt: Farmer's Legacy

At issue...

Hydrology and Urban Runoff

What do you think?
  • Does water move naturally in your area or have people affected its movement? In what ways?
  • Study an urban area near you. What kind of hydrology or water system was present before this urban setting was built?

Check it out!

  • What is hydrology? What is the hydrologic cycle?
  • Examine the hydrologic cycle in an urban setting near you. How has water quality been affected by the modifications to the area’s hydrology? What pollutants do you see entering the waterways?

What Is the Water Cycle?
Modifying Hydrology
Urban Modifications
Urban Runoff / Hydrology
Green Development
Wayne Petersen: Native Ecosystem

Explore more.

  • Examine buildings in an urban area near you. What characteristics present in that setting could be easily changed to imitate the natural hydrology? What "green development" can be done to reduce the harm of pollutants?

Jim Kenyon: Ideal Development
Wayne Petersen: Hydrology
Wayne Petersen: Infiltrate More, Shed Less
L.D. McMullen: Protecting Water
Robin Pruisner: Urban Settings
Scott Wesselmann: Urban Settings
Wayne Petersen: Sprawl vs. Development
Wayne Petersen: Urban Runoff