By Celeste Paulson
Amarillo College students in science classes are communicating with college students in China throughout the semester, aiming to promote awareness of water issues.
Students in honors sections of Human Anatomy and Physiology I and Integrated Biology and Life Science will create watermark projects based on information they gather to tie in with this year’s Common Reader book, Wine to Water, by Doc Hendley.
Susan Burgoon, a biological sciences instructor, teaches the A&P class. Dale McCurdy, an instructor in the Center for Teaching and Learning, teaches the biology and life science class.
“Our whole area has little or no water scarcity, but if you look at China, they have economic water scarcity,” Burgoon said. “This means they might have water, but they don’t have enough drinkable water, and they also have physical water scarcity up in northern China. If you look at China, 25 percent of the country doesn’t have water that’s safe enough to drink.”
Communication will be done by using a social media website called QQ.com which allows students to send instant messages and do videochatting. The site was chosen because of restrictions China has on social media websites.
“QQ is the Asian Skype,” McCurdy said. “The students will have three interactions. The first is the icebreaker; then they’ll do individual research to identify water issues and share those. The third is they identify common trends and possible solutions.”
Each student is assigned a Chinese partner with whom they will collaborate. The communication will allow the Chinese students to gain English language credit and the American students to learn about water issues and how it will affect different cultures.
“It’ll be interesting to expound the boundaries and learn more about different countries,” said Tina Tuell, a business administration major. “I think it’ll bring awareness, because water is something we use all the time, and I’m sure other countries have similar problems with water. It could be a universal issue.”
Information gathered about local water issues will be presented as a watermark project Dec. 4-5 at the Honors Expo in the Oak Room of the College Union Building on the Washington Street Campus. The event will allow students to present their findings to AC and the community.
“I think it’ll make the community more aware of the issue from not only a global standpoint, but also a local standpoint,” said Teri Teston, a business administration major.
Rosa Cobos, an education major, will participate in the project to learn about the difference in cultures and water issues.
“It’s going to bring the two cultures together in one subject,” Cobos said. “I’ll gain their views on what we’re studying.”