Get Wet!

Watershed Workbook Chapter 3: Groundwater

For Teachers: Groundwater Teacher’s Unit         For Students: Groundwater Student 

Testing well water from student homes

Testing well water from student homes

The mission of GET WET! is to bring collaborative environmental research into the community through the classroom in order to understand local environmental changes and promote public health through safe drinking water.

The program is based out of the University of Maine and is designed to engage local students and the community in the creation of a long-term groundwater quality database for towns with regards to non-municipal private wells.  This student-scientist project affords an opportunity to increase local participation and understanding of regional issues. This program also teaches students about where drinking water comes from and possible sources of contamination. It encourages students to be mindful of their impact on natural resources.

Students collect water from their home following a strict procedure and test for 6 different parameters, including chloride, nitrate, pH, hardness, iron and conductivity. After the initial testing day students participate in what is called a research day. During this time students analyze the results of their data collected on testing day. The information gathered by students becomes part of a data repository by establishing a long-term town-centered monitoring program that can be used by the community to formulate productive choices in planning, management, and development. Student data is also added to a growing database managed on a GIS program (i.e., Google Earth).

What's in Your Water?

What’s In Your Water?

GMCG also occasionally hosts GET WET Programs for the public in which there is an informational event then GMCG tests water samples submitted to us. Please keep an eye on our Facebook page and our events table to see if we are holding a public GET WET Program soon!

If you would like to learn more about the GET WET Program you can visit their website.

If you’re interested in learning about ground water, videos demonstrating scenarios with our ground water flow model can be viewed here. You can also watch our “all the water in the world” demonstration here.

Here are some other great resources:

Educational Videos & Materials

Set Up Orientation for Teachers

Test Day Preparation and Safety

All the Water in the World Demonstration




Nitrates & Nitrites



Groundwater Model Videos by GMCG & Dr. Robert Newton that demonstrate a number of groundwater concepts:

  • movement of water from areas of high pressure to low pressure
  • location of the water table
  • confined vs. unconfined aquifers
  • how contaminants can get into drinking water
  • interconnectedness of surface water and groundwater

You can access the short videos/demos below:

The aquifer in a cup activity is an easy one to do in class to demonstrate what groundwater is, an aquifer, the water table, percolation, and other concepts.

Finally, here are a few more student and teacher packets about groundwater with activities and background information about our local water resources.