It All Started with a Pond

Written by Kelsey Rincon


This is a story about a mother and her two daughters embarking on a journey at their new house where they have a very soiled pond. The mom makes it her mission to transform the pond while her daughters uncover learning on their own about the water cycle.

Keywords: ecologist, water cycle, pond, research

 Searching for a new house is never easy. Especially when your daughters give you a hefty list of requirements that they are counting on you to fulfill. Trees big enough for tree forts, a stone walk lined with pansies, and a pond to swim in were just a few of the many items on their list. After quite some time searching, I was finally able to find us a house that had great potential and thankfully fulfilled some of my girls’ requirements.

It didn’t take long for us to get settled and start to make this place our new home. Surrounded by the great outdoors, we truly felt like we were in the mist of nature’s playground and the opportunities seemed endless. One of our favorite things about this house was the great big pond that was located right on our property. It had a lot of potential to be something great. Something my girls have always wanted. A pond to go swimming in. There was only one issue. The pond was absolutely disgusting. It was the dirtiest pond we have ever seen, and I would never dare to let my girls touch even an inch of that water. Of course, they did not like to hear that, and I was always hearing them say under their breaths,

“It’s not that bad mom,” “It’s just water,” and “What’s the worst thing that could happen.”

I tried to ignore their ever so sly comments, but I couldn’t help being just as disappointed as them that we couldn’t enjoy this pond that was sitting right at our fingertips.

As days went on, I soon began to think of ways that I could help transform this pond into something that would be more useful and enjoyable for all. Being an ecologist, who studies the relationship between living things and their surroundings or environments, I felt like I was adequately equipped to take on this great task. Excited about my plans, I immediately ran to tell my girls about my hopes and dreams for the pond. I sat them down, and I couldn’t help but notice the worried looks across their faces.

“Did we do something wrong?” they both blurted out in unison.

“No of course not girls! I have some great news. I am going to take on the pond and transform it into a safe place for you guys to swim!”

They both jumped up higher than I had ever seen before and ran into my arms at lightning speed.

“THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU,” they both shouted as they clearly couldn’t hide their excitement.

Eager for me to get started, they wondered what they could do to help. That immediately got me thinking, and I soon realized that this could be such a good learning opportunity for them.

“Alright girls, since this is such a large project that is going to take some time to complete, I want you two to embark on a project of your own. Do you guys know anything about the water cycle?”

They both looked at each other.

“Is that another name for a pond?” One of my daughters stated.

“No sweetie,” I said with a giggle.

“It’s the way water circulates between the different parts of our earth such as the earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land.”

“You mean like they all share water?”

“Yes, that is one way to think about it,” I smiled.

“That sounds so cool, I want to learn more,” my daughter shouted.

“That is exactly the attitude I was hoping for. You both are going to research the water cycle using some resources that I provide you and then, you are going to share your learning with me. This will be a great way to keep you girls busy, and I also think you will learn a lot along the way. You will begin your learning starting bright and early tomorrow morning. Get some rest and be ready to explore the water cycle.”

The next morning, I could hardly open my eyes before both of my girls ran into my room and jumped on my bed, eager to get started with their learning. I mustered my way out of bed and guided them to the dining room where I had laid out all the materials they were going to need for their research.

“Here is everything you are going to need. Use these materials to do your research, then create a poster using the paper and markers when you are done! I am going to work out in the shop today, but I will check in on you girls in a little bit”

“Sounds good, thank you mom!” they both replied.

Then, I shut the door behind me and headed off to do my own research for the day.

After a few hours, I headed back into the house to grab some late lunch. To my surprise, the girls had completely redecorated the house so that it was set up for a presentation.

“Take a seat,” they told me as soon as I walked through the door.

Once I sat down, they started walking me through each of their posters about the water cycle. They explained that the water cycle goes through the following process: condensation, precipitation, collection, and evaporation. Then, it keeps going in a continuous cycle. That is how the water moves between different parts of the earth, they explained to me. They then went into each of the different parts of the cycle, and I couldn’t help but be so proud of all their new learning. They really blew me away, and I can’t wait for them to learn more things about this wonderful environment we get to call home.


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Humanizing Science through STEAM Challenges Copyright © 2021 by E.J. Bahng and John M. Hauptman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.