### Summary

Students are given background information to prepare them to conduct two associated activities in which they conduct hands-on experiments with a common faucet and then work with real-world USGS streamflow data to gain a better understanding of flow rate and how it pertains to engineering and applied science. From their experiment calculations, they hypothesize about the flow rate in a nearby river, and then use USGS streamflow data to check their hypotheses. For this lesson to be effective, make sure students obtain a visual feel for the flow in a nearby river.

### Engineering Connection

### Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the *Achievement Standard Network (ASN)*, a project of *JES & Co. *(www.jesandco.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; *e.g.*, by state; within source by type; *e.g.*, science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, *etc*.

Click on the standard groupings to explore this hierarchy as it applies to this document.

### Learning Objectives

- Conduct a scientific investigation.
- Collect, interpret and analyze data in an organized way.
- Calculate the flow rate of a faucet.
- Estimate the flow rate of a river or stream based on visual observation.
- Use the Internet to collect real-time data.

### Introduction/Motivation

Introduction

Engineering Relevance

### Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers

^{2}) at 5 feet per second, the flow rate would be 0.8 ft

^{2}x 5 ft/sec = 4 ft

^{3}/sec.

*USGS Current Water Data for the Nation*(accessible at http://waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/rt) before implementing this lesson in the classroom. The online User Guide goes into great detail about how to access the various kinds of available data. We recommended that you work through the User Guide and this activity before implementing in your class. Note that activity 2 of this lesson asks students to estimate the flow rate of a nearby river – one that they are presumably familiar with. Before implementing the Flow Rate lesson, determinei the flow rate in this river within the USGS website.

### Associated Activities

- Faucet Flow Rate - Students determine the flow rate of a faucet by timing how long it takes to fill a gallon jug. They do this for three different flow rates, averaging three trials for each. Then they convert their results from gps to cfs units.
- River Flow Rate - Students build on their understanding and feel for flow rate from the associated Faucet Flow Rate activity to estimate the flow rate in a local river, giving them the opportunity to relate laboratory experiment results to the real world. Then they determine the river's flow rate data from a USGS website, and compare their estimates to the actual flow rate.

### Lesson Closure

### Assessment

### Lesson Extension Activities

### Contributors

Bobby Rinehart, Karen Johnson, Mike Mooney

### Copyright

© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines

### Supporting Program

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines

### Acknowledgements

Last modified: September 3, 2015