Articles for Teachers

Fountains may improve classroom learning and retention
By:Kevin Fleming <[email protected]>

Tabletop Fountains in the Classroom

Indoor water fountains don’t need to be bulky features in the classroom. A compact tabletop fountain will provide the same benefits. If you work in a classroom, especially in an elementary school, there are several indispensable reasons to invest in tabletop fountains.

Now, a water fountain is by no means a cure-all, but it does modestly improve the class environment, as well as student performance.

One contributing factor is the production of white noise. The sound of consistently splashing water in a small basin generates a multi-frequency sound that tends to muffle (if not totally mask) other sounds, much like an ambulance’s siren. Of course, the sound of an indoor fountain is decidedly more tranquil and less distracting than a blaring siren. The immediate benefits of this white noise include the cancellation of diverting, irritating noises in the classroom and outside. It is particularly effective at masking traffic sounds. This strengthens student concentration by eliminating tinnitus and other distracting audible stimuli, so your students can focus directly on the day’s lesson. This improved concentration also relaxes the muscles and improves alertness, so your students are subject to less diversions while they are essentially “calmed down.”

Water fountains also release negative ions into the class atmosphere. These “ions” are actually negatively charged oxygen atoms surrounded by water molecules. They’re not exactly the “miracle cure” many new-age therapists cracked them up to be not too long ago, but they do significantly improve a contained environment by purifying the air. The PennState Department of Aerobiological Engineering has shown that negative ions effectively reduce microbial pollution in an environment by bonding to and damping bioaerosols and airborne dust particles. This nullifies the harmful airborne agents and improves breathing quality. Negative ions are also an economic way of reducing the incidence of the Newcastle Disease Virus in enclosed environs.

Another great reason to get a tabletop fountain is also the simplest: they’re just fun to look at! These fountains are a great way to enhance and improve the character and “warmth” of a classroom while delivering some modest health and concentration benefits. And tabletop fountains are reasonably affordable making them available to anyone.

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