Protecting Public Health and the Environment.

Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Educational Tools

An understanding of the basic concepts of ground water is key to understanding how the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer works.  The study of ground water is called hydrogeology. Hydrogeology investigates how water occurs and moves through the earth.

The curricula below were created to help students learn about hydrogeology. They are comprised of a number of lesson plans, each covering a specific topic. Because the lesson plans build upon each other, it is best to start with the first lesson and then move onto the next. The elementary school curriculum was created for students in grades 3 -6; the middle/high school curriculum will be for students in grades 9-12.

Elementary School Curriculum

The elementary school aquifer education curriculum contains a number of lesson plans and animations.

The animations are also available on CD from DEQ's Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Coordinator. Also included is a suggested materials list.

At the end of each lesson plan is a certificate of achievement that the teacher may sign and award to the student after he/she has successfully completed the lesson. After all lessons have been completed, a diploma designating the student as a "Apprentice Hydrogeologist" may be awarded. Download the diploma below; contact DEQ's Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Hydrogeologist to have the diploma signed by DEQ staff.

Lesson Name Lesson Plan Animation Format
#1 Hydrologic Cycle Where does water come from, and where does it go? WMV
#2 Ground Water How does water under the earth's surface move? WMV
#3 Drinking Water Where does my drinking water come from? WMV
#4 Ground Water Contamination What is ground water contamination? WMV
#5 Aquifer Simulation Model What will the ground water do?  

Middle/High School Curriculum

#1 Darcy's Law How does water move through an aquifer? - A permeameter is needed for this exercise and is available for loan to teachers at the DEQ Coeur d’Alene Regional Office.
#2 Ground Water Contours How do we determine ground water flow direction and gradient?
#3 Contaminants What is ground water contamination? (Group A) (Group B) - Contaminant Fate and Transport Spreadsheet
#4 Ground Water What does my water have in it?If your school is within the Kootenai County Aquifer Protection District boundaries (over the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer or contributing watersheds), the materials and analytical costs may be provided at no cost. See contact information at right.
Lesson Name Lesson Plan

Take a Quiz

Test your knowledge about the Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer.

Note to Teachers

The lesson plans and animations are provided to help teachers with aquifer education. Training for teachers in using the lesson plans and aquifer simulation model is available. If your school is located within the Kootenai County Aquifer Protection District fee boundaries, you may be eligible to receive the materials and aquifer simulation model at no charge. Contact DEQ's Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer Hydrogeologist for additional information.