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Water, What’s It to You? The Aquifer Virtual Field Trip

On this field trip, you’ll learn amazing things about water. For example, if you were asked what an aquifer is, or what you know about the hydrologic cycle, could you answer? Well you’ll know this and a whole lot more by the end of this trip, so get ready for some fun exploration!

You will learn why and how it is important to protect the source of your drinking water, and some unique details about the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer, one of the great wonders of the world!

Topics Covered

Students will be introduced to the following topics on this field trip:

  • Water for survival
  • The Hydrologic Cycle
  • Ground water aquifers
  • Aquifers in the U.S.
  • The Spokane Valley – Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer
  • Ice Age floods & geologic results
  • How water is used and what happens to it
  • Sources of contamination
  • The effects of urbanization
  • Water facts and conservation tips


  • Students will learn the differences between surface water and ground water.
  • Students are introduced to the hydrologic cycle.
  • Students are introduced to the system of processing drinking water for consumption.
  • Students are exposed to the geologic history of the aquifer and invited to view landscapes that have resulted from these forces.
  • Students are invited to assess potential environmental impacts to drinking water and to think about what they can do to avoid or prevent such impacts

Terms To Learn

  • aquifer
  • ground water
  • hydrologic cycle
  • surface water
  • watershed

Here are a few online glossaries where you can find definitions of these water terms and more.

This virtual field trip was designed for middle school students but can be easily adapted for students of many ages. Jointly developed by the Spokane Aquifer Joint Board and Persistent VISION in Spokane, Washington, this project was funded by a Washington State Department of Ecology, Clean Water Act, Section 319 Grant.

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