Fifth-graders at the Middle School are investigating the challenges posed to one of our most important resources – water. Pollution and lack of access to clean water are global threats to our future. Students are learning how to understand the problems we face, and find creative solutions. One recent project involves building an affordable, effective water filter, using commonplace materials like screening, cotton balls and coffee filters. Students learn how to collaborate to obtain the best results. Then they test their filters and collect data on cost, speed and efficiency, in order to determine their invention’s ultimate success. The hands-on nature of the experiment gives students a practical experience with taking an idea from concept through a typical engineering process.