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Plunge into the fun science of lakes, rivers, creeks, and ponds with a new, free DIY app that lets you investigate freshwater ecosystems anywhere you live. DIY Lake Science explores Earth’s freshwater, and its importance to all life on our planet, in 12 hands-on STEM activities.

Created by UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, the new app for the iPad and iPhone takes you outdoors to find what’s below the surface of bodies of freshwater. The app’s field adventures include making a viewscope and looking for underwater plants and animals, and crafting a Secchi disc and measuring how clear or murky a body of water is. Using such tools helps show how scientists test water quality, monitor pollution, track the populations of species, and even discover new life forms.

The app’s indoor activities guide you to build models of landscapes and bodies of water to see how rain washes soil through a watershed, how lakes freeze in winter, how pollution seeps into hidden groundwater, and where most of the world’s freshwater is found. Funded by the National Science Foundation, DIY Lake Science uses inexpensive, everyday items like food coloring, ice cubes, potting soil, straws, and newspaper. The app can be used for learning at home, at school, after school, and at community environmental events.

“A growing human population uses freshwater for drinking, farming, bathing, cleaning, and generating electrical power,” said Chris Keller, who led the team that developed the app. “We need to better understand how we can maintain sources of freshwater for human use while also maintaining enough freshwater for aquatic plants and animals.”

DIY Lake Science is the fourth DIY app from the Lawrence Hall of Science, following DIY Nano, DIY Sun Science, and DIY Human Body. DIY Sun Science was featured by Apple as one of the Best New Apps on the front page of the App Store, and was tweeted by Apple’s App Store Twitter Account to its almost 2.5 million followers.

Download DIY Lake Science for free from the App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/diy-lake-science/id973319218

For more information visit the DIY Lake Science webpage: http://www.lawrencehallofscience.org/do_science_now/diy_lake_science

 

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