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Water testing kits promote engaging science education

April 7, 2022 Sandra Bit, ATA News

Alberta classrooms are about to get a few more resources for hands-on science education, as a pair of Edmontonians recently donated 20 water testing kits to the ATA library. 

The water testing kits were procured and donated by Edmonton teacher Christopher Klune and friend Peter Chung Wai Ip. 

Klune feels that “teachers are creators, drivers of knowledge and changemakers in their communities.” They just need good quality resources to empower them to deliver engaging and meaningful education.

While Klune’s main teaching background is in the humanities rather than the sciences, both he and Ip have a passion for conservation and environmental science. They came up with the idea of water testing kits because they wanted to give teachers more resources to help them deliver engaging science education projects connected to water conservation.

The donation also stems from a project the pair worked on as part of a youth program called Ocean Bridge, run by the non-profit conservation organization Ocean Wise ( 
Ocean Bridge accepts Canadian youth and young professionals aged 18 to 30, empowering them to take action for ocean and water conservation. As part of this program, Klune and Ip had to create and deliver a service project involving waterways in their home communities. 

This led them to the Safe Drinking Water Foundation (SDWF), a non-profit organization based in Saskatchewan dedicated to promoting safe drinking water and water education. Grants that helped cover the cost of the kits were provided Ocean Wise Canada, TakingITGlobal, the Canadian Service Corps and the Government of Canada.

SDWF executive director Nicole Hancock, a teacher herself, collaborated with Klune and Ip by providing moral support and supplying the water testing kits. Klune noted that acquiring the kits now was especially timely because there are many Alberta schools on a wait list to receive them. 
The kits available from the ATA library are suitable for students in grades nine to twelve and, according to the SDWF website, “can be used to test local water and four other water samples (including control water samples) for thirteen different components: alkalinity, ammonia, arsenic, colour, copper, heterotrophic plate count, iron, manganese, nitrate, pH, sulphate, total chlorine and total hardness.” Several kits suited to younger students were also donated to the Science Council for distribution to science teachers. 

Teachers who use these testing kits can input their results on a tracking form, and results are displayed on a map on the SWDF website. In addition to water testing kits, the SDWF also offers lesson plans and other water education teaching resources. For more information, visit

Klune is hopeful that the kits will be used by teachers to create fun and interesting learning opportunities for students. He also believes that they will help lead to broader conversations about ecology and local and global water conservation. ❚   


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