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Activity: Irrigation research challenge

This content is provided by the 49ers Museum Education Program.


Irrigation is a vital part of maintaining the field at Levi’s® Stadium. By properly managing water use and by keeping the grass adequately watered, a healthy field can help support the game and its players at so many levels. The stadium’s field needs to be lush and green to ensure player safety, to increase player performance levels, but also sturdy enough to handle all the wear and tear that the game action provides.
Have you ever wondered how sports fields stay so green, and how engineers solved the challenge of moving water to ensure fields are properly maintained and irrigated? Today you’ll get a chance to find and share answers to those questions in a creative way! You’ll complete a fun and valuable research challenge that will help you plan and carry out an extensive exploration and report about how irrigation supports the sports we play.


Have you ever completed a research project? Doing research can help you learn to work more independently, help you understand how knowledge is constructed, how facts require supporting evidence, and help build your personal knowledge in a specific topic.

Research video challenge

Hypothetical scenario:

Congratulations, you have been contracted by 49ers Studios to provide a short informational video covering the importance of field maintenance and water irrigation in sports. Because this spot will air in the upcoming episode of “The 49ers Way,” your timeframe to complete this project is limited.
Your task is to plan, write, and record a video concerning the history of irrigation used in California, report about four specific types of irrigation, and share how irrigation practices support sports we play. You must find at least two different sources for your research (examples: online resources, books, or experts in the field). Sources are anything and everything used to share information.
In your research, read and think about what was read, and understand what was important and why? It is vital to choose key relatable facts from your research. Write down only the important facts that cover the topics of irrigation provided, and when researching irrigation methods, be sure to choose useful information that is as accurate as can be.

Materials needed

Video requirements

Your goal is to communicate your research findings in a short video that translates accurate information in an engaging manner for your audience. Imagine how your video might compel others to learn more about this topic! Your video will not be assessed on the basis of its technical qualities, but on the information you are sharing. Be creative!


The video must be 2-4 minutes in length. Use the resources available to you at home or at school to record (camera/tablet/smart phone).

Challenge steps

Step #1: Research and document
Research online (at home, in the school lab, or in the classroom) these four different types of irrigation: row irrigation, sprinkler irrigation, flood irrigation, and drip irrigation. In your research, identify and describe the characteristics of these different irrigation systems on the worksheet provided in the PDF provided, and draw how each are used. Draw out a sketch of these irrigation systems to help you build a visual model of the different types of irrigation methods. Then, research how sports fields are maintained, the type of irrigation method used, and why fields need to be properly irrigated for games to be played on them. Take plenty of notes!
Guiding questions
You may desire to think about the below questions as you are building background knowledge for your informational video:
  • What is the purpose of irrigation and when was it created?
  • What is the source of irrigation water? What is the importance of the different types of irrigation systems you researched?
  • Why do sports fields need to be irrigated and how do you think they are irrigated?
Step #2: Pre-production
After researching irrigation types and current irrigation practices on sports fields, create a basic outline of what information you would like to share in your video. Research and plan the video project: write a script, and practice reading your script before you start filming.
Step #3: Production
Record narration of your script.
Helpful recording hints
  1. Have a friend, family member, or peer support you if you need someone to hold the camera during recording.
  2. Use your normal speaking voice, but speak slowly and clearly.
  3. If you are nervous during recording, take a deep breath and relax your shoulders.
  4. Smile during your narration, it makes your voice sound friendly and looks better on camera.
  5. If you stumble, just carry on. Just do the best you can and don’t panic.
  6. Make sure your face is framed correctly in the camera. Your eyes should be two thirds of the way up the screen.
  7. Make it exciting! Do your best and have fun sharing your research!
Step 4: Share your research
This is a great idea to do for a class project; however it can be done just for fun as well! Share your research video with as many people as you can—friends, family, and your teachers. With guidance and permission from your parents/guardians, you might even want to post your research video creation online to educate the general public about irrigation practices in the sports realm. The more you share, the more people will be educated about your meaningful research!

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