Ground Water Institutes for Teachers is an innovative two-day training program the American Ground Water Trust developed to help educators increase their understanding of ground water science and water resource issues. It has only been in the last 40 years that the nature and origins of ground water has come to be understood scientifically. Therefore, it is not surprising that there still remains much misinformation about this vital resource. Teachers with an expanded comfort zone about ground water are more likely to correctly and effectively teach their students about its environmental and economic value with a positive and motivating style. When teachers are inspired, their students will benefit.

The American Ground Water Trust believes that a new approach in the classrooms of America will help achieve effective water resource protection and management.

By the end of 2002, Ground Water Institutes will have educated approximately 450 teachers who, on average, will have included ground water topics in their classrooms for more than 72,000 students nationwide.

The 2002 schedule:

July 9-10 Waterville Valley, N.H.
July 11-12 Thousand Oaks, Calif.
July 15-16 Zephyr Hills, Fla.
July 18-19 Allentown, Pa.
Aug. 12-13 Big Rapids, Mich.
Oct. 25-26 Greensboro, N.C.
Nov. 1-2 Seneca Falls, N.Y.
Nov. 15-16 San Antonio, Texas

Ground water and water wells can provide a great learning laboratory for children of all ages, not just in science, but also in other areas of the school curriculum. An appreciation of the vital role of ground water in our environment and economy should be part of the learning heritage of every adult and child. Teachers will learn about well construction and the basics of well design. They will learn how pumps work, discover the learning opportunities of everyday equipment like water softeners and carbon filters. The Trust will show them cut-away pressure tanks, discuss the chemistry of iron removal, outline the economics of water supply options, provide information about contaminants and the calculation of wellhead protection areas.

In addition to the presentations and discussions, Institute field trips and site visits have included trips to active drilling sites, municipal well fields, water treatment facilities, USGS hydrologic research sites, a well screen manufacturing plant and water quality laboratories. Participants take home classroom-ready activities and, in most states, receive continuing education credit.

For more information, telephone 603-228-5444, or visit