World Water Day 2013: A day in the life of a scientist – DILOS™ Program Global Launch

A day in the life of a scientist:


World Water Day 2013 field trip.

International® Protective Coatings: Corporate Sponsor

Family in Distress South Florida Community Partner

Date & Time: March 22, 2013, 10:00 AM
STW ref: 13c22fr

Location: Holiday Park
Address: 21100 Griffin Rd. Fl. 33332

The DILOS™ program can be adapted to classes with special curriculum needs or requirements. Please contact: Anthony Kozuh, STEM education research director:

World Water Day 2013 event background

In January of 2013 International® Protective Coatings / Water & Wastewater division contacted Save the Water™ in regards to the World Water Day event being planned for March 22, 2013.

After reviewing “A day in the life of a scientist” DILOS™ Program, a STEM science program, International® Protective Coatings graciously decided to sponsor this World Water Day 2013 event.

Family in Distress brought children and teenagers together for the event and the DILOS™ Program was launched. Allan Fusco, (Executive Vice President, WaterPure™ Corporation) and John Datino, (STW™ Engineering Director) who teamed with Gloria Anaya, (STW™ Florida Analytical Laboratory Director) flew in from New York to teach water analysis and assist with the program. Right click image to see more about International Protective Coatings and Family in Distress.

A day in the life of a scientist field trip is an exciting learning experience at South Florida Holiday Everglades Park. Part one of a two part program

Introduction: field observation and water sampling.

I. Introduction to the DILOS™ program and the scientific method

• Brief introduction to the children regarding Save the Water™, DILOS™, and the AquaSquad™ and what we do in the community to educate and research water issues.

• We then discussed what scientist do and the hundreds of ologies that are in the scientific field. [-ology, a suffix derived from the Greek logos, meaning the ‘study of’, ‘specialty in’ or ‘art of’ a given scientific or medical field.]

• Next we talked about the water-cycle, south Florida’s watersheds and the main purpose of the participants research during the field trip. [What is the overall condition of south Florida’s Everglades watershed and freshwater?]

• A participant guide based upon the field trips objective and lab notebook sheet were given to the children.

• An explanation of the “Scientific method” that would be used during the course of the day was then discussed detailing the following steps:

Ask a question
Make observation and do research
Form a hypothesis

Perform experiments
Test hypothesis and accept or reject hypothesis
Make a conclusion

Lab notebook procedure

• We began by showing and explaining to the children why their lab notebooks were important for recording the day’s events and findings, referring to the scientific method during this discussion.

• The children learned how to use their cell phones and lab tops to obtain and enter necessary data into their lab notebooks.

Sample description:
GPS coordinates:
Barometric pressure

Holliday park
21100 Griffin Rd. 33332
26.058965 – 80.430763
(mmHg): 766.6

• As the foregoing data was being entered, the reasons for each entry were explained and questions by the children of “why is this information important?” were discussed.

• We could tell that our participants were getting anxious to get into the field so we wrapped up this stage with a brief safety discussion. [Time 45 minutes]

II. Observations of surroundings
Analyzing environment and man-made properties of Holliday Park watershed and Everglades freshwater

• The participants began their observations by physically taking count of the following:

• 1) Fish 2) Birds 3) People 4) Trash cans 5) Polluted areas 6) Boats 7) Human Activities.

Many of the participants took pictures and commented sadly about the amount of pollution that was visible.

They observed plastic bottles floating over water areas and washed ashore. They observed gas floating on the water in certain areas. They noted over twenty areas in which the water was polluted with plastic bottles chip bags and soda cans. During this period, the children were writing notes regarding their observations. The participants asked questions that substantiated their concerns and wrote down questions that we discussed later. They tried not to leave anything out that they believed was wrong with the watershed area.

“How can the fish live in this?” questioned one participant. “How can they live in it?…we drink this too.” remarked another child.

Total observations averaged

The participants went back to the work area and after filling in their lab notebooks they compared findings with each other to formulate a data average:

• Total fish
• Total birds
• People
• Trash cans
• Polluted areas
• Cars
• Boats

[Time 30 minutes]
6 live 1 dead
110 +
200 yards shoreline “at least 2 football fields”

After observation data was entered, it was time for lunch.

Field lab: Water analysis and microscope viewing of samples.

III.  Collection of water samples for analysis.

Collecting the samples to study and formulate a conclusion.

After the lunch-break the participants began the next stage of the DILOS™ Program by collecting water samples.

They all agreed that the area in which they observed the most pollutants would give them the accurate samples to analyze the condition of the condition of the freshwater at Holiday Park. [Time 30 minutes]

IV.  Analyzing water samples

Visual analysis of water samples

• Brief introduction and hands-on instructions were given to the children regarding the proper set-up of the microscope.

• Discussed the proper handling of samples and preparation of microscope slides.

• The children then took study samples of the water they had collected.

• Prior to microscope analysis of the sampled water, the children used a magnifying glass to see what was evident in the water without further use of magnification with the microscope. [Time 15 minutes]

Microscope analysis of water samples

• After the children noted what could be seen in the water samples with the naked eye and magnifying glass a slide was prepared to be viewed under the microscope. [Time 20 minutes]

• The children were amazed to find microorganisms in the water that they had just inspected with a magnifying glass and could not see.

V.  Testing water samples

Visual analysis of water samples

• Brief introduction of the fundamentals of each water test was discussed with the children.

• The children participated in the testing and recording of the following:

Temperature (deg C):
Specific gravity:
TDS (mg/l):
Salinity (ppt):
Dissolved oxygen (mg/l):
Ammonia (mg/l):
Nitrite (mg/l):
Nitrate (mg/l):

[Time 20 minutes]

424 / 417

VI.  Conclusion

What is the overall condition of south Florida’s Everglades watershed and freshwater?
Data evaluation. The data in section II was evaluated

• After we analyzed the information the children had gathered we came to an agreed conclusion:

• Holliday Park is a Broward County Recreational Park with air boat rides, alligator shows, and other tourist’s attractions.

• There are public bathrooms and a convenience store. Motorcycle riders gather at this location on the weekends.

• Human activities definitely have an impact on the area. Emulsified oil foam was observed on the shore as well as oil sheen on the surface trailing some boats. Thrash and other debris were noticed on the shores (see photos). The color of the water was brown as weak coffee color.


• After we analyzed the information the children had gathered we came to an agreed conclusion:

•The condition of this area of the Everglades is normal to sub-normal until further studies. [Time 20 minutes]

The children learned what a typical day in the life of a scientist is like and now have a clearer understanding of the scientific method. They also acquired a greater appreciation for the value of our water and the environment.

The children experienced a fun field trip while learning field water testing techniques.

Part Two

Part two of the program consists of continuing water education and community service through the AquaSquad™ program. The student members of the AquaSquad™ adopt-a-waterway near the school to visit on a regular basis to monitor environmental conditions and assist in clean-up if necessary.

Complete details about the AquaSquad™ can be found at: STEM and Water Science Education



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