Item Number: IJES05

Arsenic is a known toxin—and it is in our water. But should it be a cause for concern? Crystal Clear? Arsenic in Indiana’s Drinking Water explores this question, and the answer may be surprising. This short documentary explains the origins of arsenic in our drinking water supply and consults experts to identify its impact. Students enrolled in the class Water Quality Indiana at Ball State University began producing the documentary in January 2019. All the students involved had backgrounds in science, but none had prior media-production experience. Expert interviews included in the documentary included Mark Elliot, from the Hoosier Microbiological Lab; Jessi Haeft, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Ball State Universi - ty’s Department of Environment, Geology, and Natural Resources; and Bradley Hayes, M.D., a doctor affiliated with Indiana University Health’s Ball Memorial Hospital. Key takeaways from the students’ aggregate reflections include: (1) their general underestimation of the time and effort that goes into documentary production; (2) their acknowledgment of arsenic as a naturally occurring toxin, but one that is not currently of paramount concern in regards to Indiana’s drinking water supply; and (3) the noticeable increase in their own media literacy as a result of this experience, which may have longer-term implications for these aspiring science professionals.

Kuban, A. J., Apsley, Sam, Kissel, Halley, Rodriguez, Ignacio, and Sipes, Natalie, 2019, Crystal Clear--an interdisciplinary, immersive-learning short documentary about water: Indiana Geological and Water Survey, Indiana Journal of Earth Sciences, v. 1, 7 p. DOI 10.14434/ijes.v1i0.2703

Keywords: water chemistry, education, Indiana

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