Environmental and earth science students are novice learners and lack the experience needed to rise to the level of expert. To address this problem we have developed the prototype Plume Busters?? software as a capstone educational experience, in which students take on the role of an environmental consultant. Following a pipeline spill, the environmental consultant is hired by the pipeline owner to locate the resulting plume created by spill and remediate the contaminated aquifer at minimum monetary and time cost. The contamination must be removed from the aquifer before it reaches the river and eventually a downstream public water supply. The software consists of an interactive Java application and accompanying HTML linked pages. The application simulates movement of a plume from a pipeline break throug h a shallow alluvial aquifer towards the river. The accompanying web pages establish the simulated contamination scenario and provide students with background material on ground-water flow and transport principles. To make the role-play more realistic, the student must consider cost and time when making decisions about siting observation wells and wells for the pump-and-treat remediation system.
Additional publication details
Helping Students make the transition from novice learner of ground-water concepts to expert using the Plume Busters software