Students from East Hardy High School built
a "stream table" in June 2008 as a class service learning
project. A stream table is, basically, a waterproof
box that is filled with sand and pitched on a slight angle.
Water is recirculated
from the top to the bottom. As the water flows down
the stream table, a meandering "stream" channel slowly in
the sand. The table models the process of stream
development in a floodplain, and demonstrates
the process of erosion.
The stream table allows people to experiment with stream
processes that normally can only be observed in the field.
Construction of the table was funded by FLOW - Future
Leaders of Watersheds, a program of the West Virginia
Commission for National and Community Service. The
table will be used by the WV Department of Environmental
Protection, WV Conservation Agency, local schools, and
Stream tables can be built in may ways. The students built
four tables using slightly different methods on each one. The
one we liked best is a simple 2'x4' table that uses one bag of sand
(about 80lbs) and a simple electric aquarium pump. The
electric pump is optional because at this scale it is possible to
recirculate the water manually using buckets (see video at right for
a power-free demonstration).
here for a material
list and instructions (downloadable PDF file, 180 KB).
remember when building a stream table!
Measure twice, cut once!
Institute - From the Cacapon to the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay,
we protect rivers and watersheds using science and education.
possible by funding from The Norcross Wildlife Foundation, the
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Environmental
Endowment, NOAA-BWET, USEPA, The MARPAT Foundation, and our generous