On their last field trip of the year, middle school students conducted field base experiences to gather data and information about water quality in our area. They participated in Project H2O, A Study of Water (Water Quality & Watershed Study) at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.
Students faced real world experiences in hands-on pond comparisons on the grounds of CNC. Students conducted biological assessments of the water quality by sampling macroinvertebrates as bioindicators. Macroinvertebrates are organisms without backbones, which are visible to the eye without the aid of a microscope. Examples of aquatic macroinvertebrates include insects in their larval or nymph form, crayfish, clams, snails, and worms.
They also conducted chemical testing using test kits to measure dissolved oxygen, temperature, nitrate, phosphate, and turbidity levels. Through discussion with naturalists, students began to understand how land use, pollution, and the importance of maintaining good water quality in the Chattahoochee River watershed are important.
This was a great opportunity for our students to see the scientific method in action, perform hands on data collection, analyze data collected by each small group, and to discuss what that data may have revealed.
It was also a great day for students to relax outdoors and enjoy a picnic lunch. Each group had a chance to visit with a raptor such as a red-shouldered hawk and to take a short nature walk to see various birds such as a pair of bald eagles. We all enjoyed the beautiful weather and the nature all around us!