Create Cleaner Water

For this challenge, you will explore ways to improve our water quality and learn about the factors that affect stream health. As we build roads, parking lots, and buildings, more and more of our natural environment is disappearing. As a result, when it rains, water flows across the concrete or asphalt instead of being absorbed by the soil – this is called Stormwater Runoff. As this excess water flows, it picks up and carries contaminants, soil, and trash. If untreated, these contaminants can infiltrate groundwater and concentrate in streams and rivers, ultimately being carried through the watershed and into the ocean. What could you invent or innovate to help reduce water/stream pollution? Are there clever ways to reuse plastics, methods to reduce the use of fertilizers, or something to keep polluted runoff from getting into streams? Join us as we team up with Riverbend Environmental Ed Center and the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit to explore stream health, drinking water, macroinvertebrates, and watersheds.

consider this

key terms

nonpoint source pollution: (noun) indirect contamination of harmful materials being carried into the environment by water or wind. an example of this is rainwater washing gasoline from a gas station into a river, or trash getting blown into a river by the wind

pollution: (noun) introduction of harmful materials into the environment

point source pollution: (noun) direct contamination of harmful materials being discharged into the environment. an example of this is an industrial factory dumping their waste into a local pond

stormwater runoff: (noun) overflow of rainwater caused by more water than land can absorb


01. All About Macroinvertebrates – 02. Model My Watershed – 03. PA Department of Environmental Protection – Macroinvertebrates 04. What Watershed Do You Live In? –

design a solution

generate an idea

What idea/invention/initiative would help prevent stream pollution? How would it work? What would it be made out of?

design and build a prototype

Build your invention/idea/initiative! In most cases you will have to create a prototype – a smaller version of your invention that helps you test, share, explain your invention. Maybe it’s not a physical object but a website or flyer? Remember – It’s ok if it is not a working prototype.

share your idea

Film a short (Max 2 min video) pitch of your invention. Include details like who is it for, what problem does it solve, etc. Have fun! Upload/share your video to twitter, facebook or Instagram. Don't forget to tag us!

example solutions

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