Back in geography, students examined the concept of water crises, researched the organizations and other entities that drill wells in Africa, and explored how the geology of the different areas affected the ability to obtain water. As the book explains, Nya’s village is in an arid area but has a deep aquifer. The teachers directed students to online sites such as waterproject.org to evaluate water usage. They looked at Nya’s daily usage and the amount of effort and time it took her to get water to her home, as well as the cleanliness of the water she could access. The sites allowed the students to track their families’ water usage based on washing clothing, driving, and showering, as well as how a family's diet impacts water usage (i.e., meat requires more water).
In science, students used an app to track their individual daily water usage. They also completed a hands-on project that illustrated the challenges faced by families like Nya’s. Using small glasses to carry water and a ten-pound weight around the science building, the students tried to fill a bucket without losing water along the way. After losing at least 20% to spillage, they lost even more as they had to purify the dirty water to make it potable. As they worked, they examined physical water scarcity and the decisions that must be made on whether to spend what water they have for agriculture, industry, or personal uses. They also looked at economic water scarcity, where some people have an untapped supply of water but no resources to access it. Their explorations included discussions of the metabolic need for water, the challenges of constipation, cholera, diarrhea, and the importance of handwashing in the prevention of diseases. A video about the Tippy Tap, a device for hands-free handwashing in rural areas without running water, inspired one group to build a similar device to see how it works.