The presented environmental ILS employs the socioeconomic inclusive impact approach. In this activity, students are first introduced to the well-known methods of desalination and then identify how many desalination plants function in their country/region and in which technologies their function is based on. In addition, the use of renewable sources of energy to power a desalination plant is further explored. Then, students examine the prospects of implementing (new) desalination technologies in their country/region, by taking into consideration social and economic aspects.

Learning Objectives

After this activity, students should be able to:

  • Explain the main differences between the thermal desalination methods and the membrane-based desalination methods
  • Provide evidence about the capacity, the operational cost and the energy consumption of the three main desalination methods (i.e. MSF, MED and RO)
  • Understand and perform a SWOT analysis
  • Create a social science interview
  • Collect and work with social data
  • Inform their community about the pros and cons of the operation of desalination plants in their country/region.

This ILS may be used as a standalone project. At the same time, if a teacher would like to design a holistic engaging student’s enterprise “Global Water Crisis” (for secondary school) a set of three ILSs could be used as a starting point.

The students can launch with understanding the science behind desalination and investigate in-depth a specific thermal desalination technique (Global Water Crisis: Looking at the science behind desalination). Then, they may continue with this ILS and examine further the pros and cons of other desalination methods. Finally, they can learn about drought and help their community to apply a sustainable drought management plan, which may include the operation of a desalination plant among other strategies to face a severe drought (Global Water Crisis: Drought management plan).

The ILS design is following the principles of the universal design for learning (UDL) for inclusive learning.

Reviewer: Olga Dziabenko

This activity was developed in the framework of the InSTEAM project.

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