Teaching programme Jordan & Palestine
Water Fun – hands, minds and hearts on Water for Life!
Primary teachers in the countries mentioned (over 130 teachers and subsequently around 4,000 students) have received theoretical and practical training in this teaching programme during three-day workshops that include an excursion on the last day to a demonstration site for various decentralised wastewater treatment plants and technologies in Jordan.
A brief overview of the programme content is presented here. Each programme takes into account the particular hydrological, cultural and social conditions of the countries mentioned: Jordan and Palestine.
The programme consists of six units that are identified with a key illustration from the student workbook in each case; the content and activities are outlined for each unit.
Unit 1: Water cycle – water in nature
Students form working groups at random for the following six units in a playful and enjoyable manner. They familiarise themselves with the concept of the water cycle: they learn about the various processes within the water cycle, the various water states and their effect on water quality.
Unit 2: Household water consumption in Jordan & Palestine – water in our life
This unit introduces students to the topic of household water consumption so that they can identify where they use water at home in their everyday activities and how wastewater is generated through this use. They get to know where the wastewater goes when it leaves their homes and learn about the need to treat wastewater to avoid environmental pollution and health problems.
Unit 3: Water pollution – artificial wastewater production and analysis
Students produce artificial wastewater with safe ingredients and observe how the water quality changes. They learn the principles of water analysis by measuring simple parameters.
Unit 4: Wastewater treatment I – constructing a filter
Students experiment with various materials to construct a bottle filter as a simple treatment system for the wastewater generated in the previous unit. By comparing the results from the different filters, students learn that each material has a specific functionality in the filtration process.
Unit 5: Wastewater treatment II – constructing a wetland
Students study wetlands on a model scale as a modern ecological technology that “copies” natural mechanisms for wastewater treatment. They demonstrate the functionality of this technology by subsequent water analysis: they measure the quality of the treated wastewater to decide if it can be reused or not according to a country-specific water standard.
Unit 6: Treated wastewater – reuse possibilities
In this unit, students discharge the treated wastewater with quality lower than the standard into the toilet. Students learn that the treated wastewater with the same or higher quality than the standard can be used for irrigation and that treated wastewater is an additional, very valuable resource.
Unit 7: Excursion to a wastewater treatment plant
Teaching and learning outside the classroom as part of environmental education for sustainable development in:
Jordan and Palestine
An excursion to a real local wastewater treatment and reuse site is a very good way to experience the taught knowledge in the real world. Teachers and students will obtain a deeper insight into the importance and practical relevance of wastewater treatment and reuse for their region/village and will be encouraged to investigate this topic further.
This holistic, detailed introduction to this topic is a prerequisite for the desired awareness that is created through knowledge and experience, which in turn is the basis for a long-term change in attitudes and behaviour.
In order to promote decentralised wastewater treatment and reuse systems in Jordan, the “SMART - Research, Demonstration and Training Facility” was constructed in Fuheis near Amman. The site was funded by the German SMART project for Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies and started operation in autumn 2009.
Various wastewater treatment technologies are operated at the site and special focus is directed at constructed wetlands as a suitable technology for decentralised wastewater treatment. Alongside constructed wetlands, sequencing batch reactors, extended aeration systems and sludge treatment technologies are also operated with real wastewater.
Demonstration site visit with teachers, April 2011