Increasing Environmental Awareness of Water, Waste, and Land Issues in Appalachian Ohio (WWL Ohio) through a High School Student Contest of Computer-Simulated Environmental Models


A project funded by the Ohio Environmental Education Fund of OhioEPA

Co-PI with Dr. C. Liu of Computer and Electrical Engineering Dept.

Ohio University, Athens, Ohio


Project objectives

The goal of this project is to increase awareness of current environmental challenges and issues in Appalachian Ohio among high students, their parents, and the public at large in Meigs County and Athens County. Innovative adoption of a cutting edge educational tool named Alice will be used to achieve this goal. (Alice is an educational 3-D Authoring and Modeling System recently developed by Carnegie Mellon University.) Specifically, sample computer-simulated environmental models will be developed at Ohio University and will be used in various high school classes in Meigs County and Athens County to help teach topics related to environmental issues. In addition, eight student teams from Meigs High School and Athens High School will each develop a computer-simulated model of a local environmental issue such as septic tanks and the Sunday Creek Watershed problems[1], and will compete in the WWL Ohio Contest that will involve the general public. Winning teams will then build exhibits based of their computer simulations, which will be displayed in Athens County Library and the Kennedy Museum of Art in Athens, Ohio.


The overall project objectives are to:

  • (Obj1) involve about 500 high school students in two high schools and improve their awareness of environmental challenges in Appalachian Ohio to 60%;
  • (Obj2) involve about 32 students in the WWL Ohio Contest and improve their environmental awareness to 100%;
  • (Obj3) involve parents of the 32 student contestants and improve their awareness of local environmental issues to 70%;
  • (Obj4) involve an estimated total of 400 library and museum patrons and improve their awareness of local environment issues to 50% through a one-day contest and two one-week exhibits in Athens County Library and the Kennedy Museum.