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Water: Middle School

Activities: "Stop Pointless Personal Pollution"

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For Grades 6 - 8

Stop Pointless Personal Pollution! (Full Article)(PDF) (2 pp, 2.5MB)

Stop Pointless Personal Pollution! (Activity Sheets)(PDF) (12 pp, 744K)


Exercise I. Create an Adopt-A-Street Program in Your 'Hood'

Exercise II. The Superior Car Wash

Exercise III. A Suburban Bacterial Dilemma

Exercise IV. Phosphates in Your Water


This is a set of exercises based on some of the topics addressed in the accompanying article. They emphasize personal participation and creation of a program. In Exercise I, students are encouraged to take charge of their environment through an Adopt-A-Street program. Exercise 2 is a problem that uses math interpretation to lead students to think about a more water-conservative strategy for car washing. In particular, students are asked to work with fractions. The third exercise uses a case study to evoke thought and discussion among students about pet sources of bacteria in densely populated areas. The last exercise is a lab experiment that leads students into thinking about the effects of phosphates from household fertilizers and detergents on their waterways.

Time Required:

Individual exercises are designed to be approximately 1/2 hour to 45 minutes long.

Curricular Standards and Skills:

Natural Science:
  • stream/pond ecology
  • pollutants
  • lab methods

Language Arts:
  • reading comprehension
  • discussion/critical thinking
  • writing
  • fractions
  • percents

  • map reading/geography
  • population density
  • urban related challenges
  • community service


  • acutely toxic
  • chronically toxic
  • impervious
  • integrated pest management
  • nitrogen and phosphorus
  • pesticides
  • storm drain
  • wastewater

Web sites:

EPA's Nonpont Source Pollution Prevention page

Water Action Volunteers Storm Drain Stenciling (PDF)(2 pp, 737K) Exit EPA Disclaimer

EPA's Combined Sewer Overflows page

Adopt-A-Street Program Exit EPA Disclaimer , City of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Adopt-A-Street Program, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Adopt-A-Street Program [BROKEN]Exit EPA Disclaimer, Westminster, Colorado.

Northern Virginia Regional Commission Bacteria Research page Exit EPA Disclaimer

U.S. Census Bureau

City of Seattle's page on Preventing Pet Waste Pollution [BROKEN]Exit EPA Disclaimer


Middle Schools  |  Stop Pointless Personal Pollution  |    Exercise: I  |  II  |  III  |  IV  |  Top

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