Montana Groundwater Academy

Three students standing on a trail next to a pipe sticking out of a groundwater monitoring hole.

WEN partners with SpectrUM, Missoula Valley Water Quality District, Missoula Water, and others to provide comprehensive groundwater lessons and well-measurement field trips to Greenough Park. The MGA program exemplifies how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education can help prepare individuals to participate in citizen and professional activities related to managing our water resources. 

This is a 3 - 5 day research-based science program that engages students in first-hand investigations that build students’ capacity for informed decision-making about water issues.

 

Day 1: Students investigate groundwater using a physical model.

Day 2: Students investigate where groundwater is at the field site in Greenough Park.

Days 3-5: Students work in teams to:

1.) Summarize their well data.

2.) Visualize their data and draw contour lines.

3.) Engage in a CSI mystery to solve a well contamination scenario, describe impacts and suggest a remediation plan. 

An instructor looking at a pipe sticking out of the ground while a student stands feeding a measuring tape down into the pipe.
Students standing next to a groundwater flow model holding syringes with tubes connected to the model.

Students will develop the capacity to explain:

  • Where groundwater is located

  • How and why groundwater moves

  • Seasonal and long term patterns and trends

  • How groundwater and surface water connect and interact

  • How groundwater becomes contaminated and how contamination can be remediated.

 

By the end of the program, the students will understand how to protect, manage and sustain groundwater resources.