Rain Garden Engineering Design Challenge
Appropriate for grades 5 through 8
In this lab, students will assume the role of an environmental engineer who is tasked with designing a rain garden that absorbs the most groundwater. Students will begin by observing rain gardens that have been installed at Pierce's Park (located outside the Columbus Center where SciTech is housed). They will analyze the purpose and positive impact rain garden installation has on the community and brainstorm factors to consider when designing a rain garden. When students enter our SciTech lab, they will learn about types of soil (mulch, loam, pea gravel and sand) that can be used in a rain garden design. In teams, students will create their own "rain garden in a bottle" with a $100 'fake' budget. Once designed, they will then observe and collect data on how much water their rain garden absorbs. They will have the opportunity to share results and redesign their rain garden based on class findings.