Tag Archives: Cisterns

Learning About The Island School Cisterns in Math Class

By Cate Ellison

In our math classes this past week, we have been learning about the cisterns around campus that store our water. We learned about the five cisterns underneath buildings that we are currently using as well as a cistern underneath a building under construction on campus that will shortly be put into use. Water is a resource that we use everyday at The Island School, and it is really interesting to learn how the cisterns work, and how our individual water use affects the entire water supply.


At first, the idea of measuring our useable water based on the amount of rain, capacity of cisterns, and surface areas of roofs was a whole new concept to me, something that I had never thought of before. In our math classes, we talked about how daily rainfall multiplied by the surface area of the roofs that drain into the cisterns is the total volume of the cistern, but not the total useable water in the cisterns because we aren’t actually able to use all of the water in a cistern. Continue reading

Island School Math Class Takes on Water Issues

Back at home, it’s easy to think that when you turn on a tap, water will come out. Here at The Island School, however, we have learned that water is not an unlimited resource. In fact, our water supply is contained within five underground cisterns on our campus. The water that fills our cisterns comes from the sky, and roofs across campus collect this water, which then flows directly into the cisterns. We draw water from one cistern at a time for drinking, cooking, showering, and various other purposes. Each morning during chores, the Cistern Crew is responsible for measuring the level of water in each of the five cisterns, and entering the data into an Excel spreadsheet. This data is then examined to determine how much water we have used up and how much is left. The problem is that, currently, there is no real system behind deciding which cistern we draw water from. Over the past few weeks in math class, we have been figuring out a solution to this problem.

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Cisterns Go Hollywood!!

Chores aren’t always a chore. This week the folks over at cistern chores have been hard at work keeping tabs on water consumption, as well as making efforts to get out the word on water conservation. They decided to answer a challenge issued by Hercampus.com that seeks to reduce shower times to three-minutes. As you may well know, a three-minute shower at The Island School is a luxury that we just don’t have, so instead we made a film to promote the one-minute shower.

Now we need your help! Watch the video and send it to your friends. Not only do we want to spread the word on water conservation, but we want to win! And the video with most views by Earth Day (this Friday) wins a cache of biodegradable bath products from The Body Shop! With Caleb behind the camera, Haley and Marco playing lead roles, and the support of our faithful viewers, the film is a lock to win. Don’t miss the blooper reel at the end!