Water: More than just Hydrogen and Oxygen
Fourth-year teacher Kayleigh Caskey graduated from Hope College and now teaches chemistry at North Oldham High School. She writes here about the positive impact enjoyed through her fellowship year with the Louisville Water Company
“Why do we have to balance equations?” “Why do we even need to know this??”
This is the ultimate question that teachers face every day. Today, my students had that question answered. The Louisville Water Company had their final classroom visit today. Larry Moore, or as my students refer to him, “The water guy”, joined my classroom to explain the process of water purification. Yes, my students know that water is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, but there is so much more chemistry that goes into our drinking water.
Louisville has the best water, and as my students learned today, that is much in part to chemistry! All our water gets treated with ferric chloride, ammonia, chlorine, and calcium carbonate. These are three separate processes but are all essential to create safe drinking water. Along with that, our water goes through 200 tests before it is distributed. So now, thanks to the Louisville Water Company, my students’ questions have changed to, “how much ferric chloride do they use?” and “Why can’t we mix ammonia and chlorine at home?” All of these questions and more can be answered through chemistry.