Posted in Community, General, Porters Point School, Programs, Videos, Vision Summit/Vision and Strategic Plan

What Do You Know About Your Water?

By polluting clear water with slime, you will never find good drinking water.


Do you know where your drinking water comes from and the path it takes from its source to your home? Do you know what happens to your water when it leaves your home?

At Porters Point School, students in Ms. Terrien’s class now have a much greater understanding of these concepts—and they even engineered water filtration systems—as a result of a fabulous guest presentation about water.

Doug Kievit-Kylar discusses water with PPS students.
Doug Kievit-Kylar discusses water with PPS students.

(Click here to view Mr. Kievit-Kylar’s lesson plan for the presentation.)

Actively engaging and challenging the students with inventive hands-on activities, Doug Kievit-Kylar, a compliance analyst with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Drinking Water Groundwater Protection Division, provided students with a much greater understanding of why water is so important. Tracing the path that water takes to the school, the students learned where the water for PPS comes from and where it goes when it leaves the building.


The critical learning component of the presentation involved groups of students working collaboratively to design simple mechanisms for cleaning a significant amount of various sediment deposits from a water solution. This is particularly important because developing greater awareness about conservation efforts—and developing hands-on solutions—helps our students collaborate with their local and global communities to address our intensifying ecological situation.

Please click here to see a video of Mr. Kievit-Kylar’s presentation and of the students’ enthusiastic participation in their learning.

Mr. Kievit-Kylar’s work with our students is another spectacular example of many of the pathways established in the Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017, including Pathway A: High Standards, Expectations, and Individual Engagement for All Learners and Pathway E: Parent, Community, and School Partnerships Among Lifelong Learners.

“I was really impressed with Meg [Ms. Terrien]; she has the classroom management down really well. The students were a joy—a pleasure—to be with, and that speaks well of the students, the teacher, and of the school,” Mr. Kievit-Kylar—himself a former teacher—said.

The Colchester School District Vision and Strategic Plan 2012–2017 emphasizes the importance of high standards and expanded opportunities for our students along with innovative, flexible approaches with a commitment to excellence. The study of science is far more than simply the memorization of facts; it teaches us fundamental, transferable skills in observation, critical thinking, evaluating and analyzing results, making meaningful connections, developing sound processes, and presenting ideas in a clear manner. Science teaches us how to frame and pose intriguing questions. It helps us to become engaged, conscientious citizens. Aeronautics … medicine … electronics … engineering … environmental conservation … communications … it is indisputable that science and technology have revolutionized the world in many ways, and as such, the importance of studying and applying these disciplines is clearly evident. A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas and the Vermont Science Curriculum and Standards also speak to the importance of rigorous science instruction for students of all ages.

For more information about the water presentation, please call PPS at (802) 264-5920 or e-mail Ms. Terrien at

Macro of bamboo fountain at a Japanese temple in Kamakura, Japan.

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