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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Transportation Systems Engineering

Teacher Resource Center

Lesson Overview
Lesson Title:
Environmental Engineering Applied to Feedlots

Ms. Marie Nielsen (Primary)

Brief Description:
Students will explore how Environmental Engineers calculate rainwater runoff to prevent local water contamination. The focal point of this exploration is a feedlot.

Topics Introduced:
Environmental Science

Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics Curriculum Framework Components Addressed:
Logistics Planning and Management Services
Health, Safety and Environmental Management
Suggested Grade Levels:
8th Grade

Standards Taught:
12.1.1 Science 2003
12.1.2 Science 2003
12.2.1 Science 2003
12.6.1 Science 2003
12.6.2 Science 2003

Lesson Information
Learning Expectations:

- Students will learn how to calculate runoff coefficients like Environmental Engineers
- Students will apply calculator skills
- Students will observe the area affected by feedlot run off
- Students will evaluate the environmental impact using water samples
- Students measure the area of a real feedlot run off pond

Plan Of Action:

Plan of Action
1. Internet Research What is a Feedlot (Use links below)
a. 5 minutes Bell Ringers:
Look up vocabulary word: FEEDLOT
Answer the Journal Question: Why are feedlots important to society.

2. Presentation and Worksheet (provided below)
a. Present the provided PowerPoint (FeedlotRunOff.ppt)
b. Complete the worksheet (FeedlotRunoffCalculations.doc)

3. Prepare for data collection and field trip:
a. Discuss Field Trip expectations
b. Present the measurements of lots and runoff basin that will be used in the activity
c. Ask students to formulate 2 Questions each to ask Feedlot Manager

4. Feedlot Field Trip for collect data.
a. Use containers to collect samples.
b. Have students ask the questions they prepared.
c. Take pictures for future presentations.

5. Contact your local Natural Resource District (NRD) to secure a NRD Speaker
a. NRD speaker will give an explanation of job description, college education, salary, etc.
b. Ask the speaker to help demonstrate how to test water samples for nitrates.
i. Students will use the collected samples from the local feedlot as well as samples of water from their home.
ii. Lab time: students will test the water samples from feedlot tour &/or samples brought from home

6. Concept Application: Students will create a poster and write a paper based on their findings
a. Students will design their own feedlot on poster
b. They will calculate the rainwater peak runoff values and design the runoff detention basin to fit their designs
c. Students will label all components of their lot (Including photos of real feedlots)

7. Presentations
a. Present of Posters and Papers to Class (Public Speaking English Standard)

Data Set Used:

Data set will consist of the water samples taken from the feed lot on the field trip. Additional samples can be taken from home water supply as well as other agricultural sources.

Materials Needed:

Computer connected to the Internet for research
Poster board
The provided worksheet and PowerPoint
Sampling materials
Water samples
Local Natural Resource District (NRD) contact information
Local feedlot contact information

Internet Research Links:

Professional Resource:
Dr. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt
Assisted with Coefficient Calculations
University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Engineering
203 B
Peter Kiewit Institute
Omaha, NE 68182-0178
Ph: (402) 554-3868 FAX: (402) 554-3288

Preparation Period:

1-2 planning periods
- Make sure computers are accessible during class
- Make time to run off internet sheets
- Time needed to make phone calls for tour and speaker
- Obtain markers and poster boards

Implementation Period:

Flexible, teachers can use one lesson or the whole unit.
7-8 Days depending on ability levels

Science, Math, Engineering and / or Technology Implications:

- Inquiry based science research skills
- Practice calculator skills
- Measure the area of a real feedlot
- Collect water samples at various locations

Unexpected Results:

Teachers and students will learn there is way more to operating a feedlot that meets environmental regulations and profits from efficiency than ever realized.

Students will appreciate the importance of the Environmental Engineer's role in calculating rainwater runoff to prevent local water contamination.

Lesson Files

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