Teaching TFP?

Panaxdave

Member
May 20, 2018
8
Granite Falls, NC
This might come across as an odd post but I thought I'd give it a try and see what folks thought of the idea. I teach biology at a community college. Often times I am asked if I'd like to teach a continuing education class and those classes can be just about anything people find interesting. Judging by the way some folks both have interest in the TFP system I use and the way they glaze over a bit when I tell them about "the forum" (some folks want to be told rather than read, I think), I thought it would be fun to do a short con. ed. class on how to use the TFP system along with the app. Students could purchase a test kit as part of registration, bring their water in after we discuss water chemistry a bit. Could be fun. Good idea or nah? What pitfalls could I be looking at here? Thanks for all the help/advice past and future.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dallasaggie

Jimrahbe

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 7, 2014
14,639
Bedford, TX
Dave,

If you have been a teacher for a while, then I think it is a good idea for you..

Most people don't have a clue as to how difficult it can be to be a teacher.. It sounds so easy to do, but is so much more difficult than it appears at first glance.

I say go for it and let us know how it turns out..

Thanks,

Jim R.
 

jblizzle

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 19, 2010
43,260
Tucson, AZ
I had considered creating a short "Pool School" class myself and talked to another member who went further than I did and started asking around to gauge interest ... he said he could not find enough interest to warrant pursuing it any further.

People are comfortable either paying someone to maintain their pool or just buying whatever the pool store tells them ... until they reach a breaking point and look for something better, and then find TFP.
People don't know what they don't know and thus have little interest until it starts overly impacting their wallet.

Worth a shot, but I am not sure how many you might get to sign up. Especially if you are going to required ~$80 prerequisite of buying a test kit.
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
For adult ed/ community education buying a test kit right away is going to be a deal-breaker.

Discussing what each chemical does and why each is important, the FC/CYA relationship, and a test demonstration would probably go over okay as a one day class. Maybe even use different test strips and testers to demonstrate why they aren't adequate. If they're convinced,m they'll buy a test kit. But getting them to part with the green up front.... I don't see that happening.
 

KandTFromPhx

Gold Supporter
May 31, 2019
24
Phoenix, AZ
Or maybe each student pays a small 'lab chemicals' fee and you all work from the same kit. Those who take a real interest will spring for their own kit. Others might be a little more pool store smart. Win win.
 

Panaxdave

Member
May 20, 2018
8
Granite Falls, NC
Appreciate all the input. Actually got more than I anticipated I would.

Cost is always something to consider at a community college, for sure. That said, we've had con ed classes in the past where up front costs were much higher than the cost of a test kit and those classes filled. One thing I've learned in the community college system over the last 10 years is that there is no predicting turnout. Advertising plays a huge part. That said, I think making the kit an optional buy would be a good idea.

Also, rather than one long drawn out class, I might break it up into two or more shorter classes. I wouldn't want to go into huge detail about chemistry but would want to give folks enough so they felt they go their money's worth. Trying to force that in one class might bore folks. Even teaching biology/anatomy I try to be cognizant of when I've lost the room and that tends to happen at about 45mins if not broken up with other activities beside a bit of lecture.

I was considering using Pool School as a model and like the idea of showing how test strips can be problematic and how titrations are a much better way to take measurements. I can use color pH indicators and buffers to discuss alkalinity importance (very similar to the bicarbonate buffer system we discuss in anatomy with the resp system). Anything else you can think of to make the class more interactive than just testing water?

Also, I'd like to give credit where it is due. Any idea who started this forum/platform? Maybe I can dig around in here a bit a find that.

Again, this isn't a done deal. I just like teaching folks useful things and have found this system extremely useful. Thanks again!
 

Richard320

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jan 6, 2010
22,069
San Dimas, CA (LA County)
Appreciate all the input. Actually got more than I anticipated I would.

Cost is always something to consider at a community college, for sure. That said, we've had con ed classes in the past where up front costs were much higher than the cost of a test kit and those classes filled. One thing I've learned in the community college system over the last 10 years is that there is no predicting turnout. Advertising plays a huge part. That said, I think making the kit an optional buy would be a good idea.

Also, rather than one long drawn out class, I might break it up into two or more shorter classes. I wouldn't want to go into huge detail about chemistry but would want to give folks enough so they felt they go their money's worth. Trying to force that in one class might bore folks. Even teaching biology/anatomy I try to be cognizant of when I've lost the room and that tends to happen at about 45mins if not broken up with other activities beside a bit of lecture.

I was considering using Pool School as a model and like the idea of showing how test strips can be problematic and how titrations are a much better way to take measurements. I can use color pH indicators and buffers to discuss alkalinity importance (very similar to the bicarbonate buffer system we discuss in anatomy with the resp system). Anything else you can think of to make the class more interactive than just testing water?

Also, I'd like to give credit where it is due. Any idea who started this forum/platform? Maybe I can dig around in here a bit a find that.

Again, this isn't a done deal. I just like teaching folks useful things and have found this system extremely useful. Thanks again!
How about discussing a certain parameter and then break to test it and do something to it? pH is obvious. Done with TA it's possible to get a tank or clear jug and add some acid and see what happens., But why not also demonstrate the differences between balking soda and soda ash and borax?

Could you demonstrate aeration as the method to raise pH? A tiny pond pump and an aeration nozzle would be enough. Or have people take turns with an old egg beater. The pool store only knows one method to raise pH: soda ash. (Actually, for every situation they have something to add.) What a bizarre concept to discover -- chemistry adjustments without more chemicals!

Test chlorine and then set the two identical containers side by side. While discussing CYA, have one shielded and the other exposed to a black light or set in the windowsill. After a lecture, break and test the two to visually see the effect.

It's the hands-on lab that cements the concepts
 

Panaxdave

Member
May 20, 2018
8
Granite Falls, NC
I like the ideas. I was thinking about some way to do a demo about CYA.

Funny you mention the aeration. I do a demo with anatomy students in which I exhale into water and show the pH drop. The next day the pH has risen a bit, then we can discuss the role of CO2 as it pertains to pH balance in the body and also how concentration gradients play a role as well.

Here's something else I just thought about. I don't have a SWG on my pool so I am unfimilar with SWG systems. As far as testing goes, there shouldn't be a huge difference, correct (Other than testing salt level, that is)?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,449
Laughlin, NV
Here's something else I just thought about. I don't have a SWG on my pool so I am unfimilar with SWG systems. As far as testing goes, there shouldn't be a huge difference, correct (Other than testing salt level, that is)?
You are right. Testing is all the same. And salinity testing is only when large amounts of water have been exchanged or the SWCG is not working properly.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Panaxdave

KandTFromPhx

Gold Supporter
May 31, 2019
24
Phoenix, AZ
Testing is the same but because the process of converting salt into chlorine adversely increases PH, your parameters change a bit. You'll use more acid and want a lower TA to help hold the PH down.
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
22,449
Laughlin, NV
Testing is the same but because the process of converting salt into chlorine adversely increases PH, your parameters change a bit. You'll use more acid and want a lower TA to help hold the PH down.
Not really. pH is not that effected by the SWCG. Most people think that because they were using acidic trichlor before a SWCG and thus thought they did not have natural pH rise. If you keep your TA lower, and do not have alkaline fill water, your pH will not rise with a SWCG.
 

Teald024

TFP Guide
-4 fish bowls left out in sun until day of class:
*Water with no chlorine for 2 weeks
*Water with no chlorine for a week
*Water with low chlorine & lots of CYA for 2 weeks (to match test strip or mfg recommend levels)
* water with correct FC/CYA Chartbalance

-Purpose of filter vs. purpose of chemicals
 

crusemm

Bronze Supporter
Sep 1, 2011
195
North Texas
Also film it and post it here, Maybe someone can set up a TFP YouTube channel. You would be amazed how many peoples first stop to learn something new is YouTube.