Crowd the Tap in Maine – Latest Posts

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Crowd the Tap in Maine (CTTM) investigates drinking water quality in Maine by collecting water samples from many homes and other buildings and then looking for patterns in how water quality changes from place to place.

Inviting Inquiry

The beauty of Crowd The Tap is its flexibility in the classroom. It can be embedded in curricula in any number of ways – lightly as a unit launch to deeply as a fully-developed project-based learning (PBL) sequence. In this post I describe how I am using it to engage students in an alternative pathways program in a rural high school.

Observer IDs for Students

Every student participating in CTTM needs an “Observer ID.” The Observer ID keeps students’ identities private while still allowing teachers to connect students with their work. This post describes how to create Observer IDs.

Adding a Tap to a Building

Students have the option of comparing the quality of water from more than one tap in a building. This might be especially interesting if some taps are filtered and others are not. This post shows how to add a tap.

Adding a New Building

Crowd the Tap considers how the entire delivery system from water supply to tap might affect water quality. The building in which the tap is located is a key element in that system. This post describes the information that students collect about individual buildings.

Obtaining Permission to Collect Water Samples

Students need written permission from parents, guardians and other adults to collect water samples from homes and other privately owned buildings. This post includes a link to the permission form that students should use. It also explains why it is important to get permission and communicate the goals of the project before collecting samples.

How CTTM Data Are Organized

Students collect CTTM data about buildings, taps, water chemistry and water quality using paper worksheets. They use different dataheets for different kinds of data. This post explains how the different datasheets relate to each other and will help teachers in organizing and overseeing the students’ work as they enter data.

photo of public water system facilities

Public Water Systems in Maine

Maine is a rural state. Rather than having a few big city water systems, Mainers get their water from many small and mid-sized public systems in addition to private wells. In this post we provide information about the different kinds of public water systems that students will need as they map drinking water quality.

Collecting CTTM Water Quality Data on Site

Crowd the Tap Maine builds a picture of water quality in an area by collecting samples from many different “taps,” or faucets. By collecting samples from many different taps, we can build a picture of what is happening in a water system. This post describes how collect information about a single tap.


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