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Water Quality Studies

Physical Assessment of Stream Water Quality

Description:  As one component of water quality research, students observe, calculate and map physical characteristics of a stream edge (riparian) habitat.  Quantitatively, using Vernier LabQuest scientific handhelds and stream flow sensors, students measure stream flow velocity and calculate average stream discharge. Qualitatively, students use observation skills to note specific physical stream characteristics.  Including titles, legends, and symbols, students compile and analyze quantitative and qualitative information on a stream map, drawing conclusions about local stream water.

Length of Program:  This program is available in a 1-day or 2-day format. The 3-day format is an option, but not recommended.
For each available format, the program is conducted within the following time considerations:
1-day format:  Day One:  2.5 - 3 hour period.
2-day format:  Day One:  Traditional class period.  Day Two:  Double class period.
3-day format:  Day One, Two, Three:  Traditional class periods each day. 

Site Requirements:  Access to flowing river or stream

Cost:  None.  All equipment, teaching materials, and technology are provide free of charge.

Full program description, learning objectives, 2010 Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Math and Excellence in Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (Pre K - 12)
 

Chemical Assessment of Stream Water Quality

Description:  As one component of water quality research, students use Vernier LabQuest scientific handhelds and sensors to measure stream pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature and turbidity.  Electronic field notebooks, running interactive water quality software, aid students in hypothesis creation, data entry, observation records and scientific conclusions concerning local stream water.
*If desired to demonstrate the principles of wet chemistry, nitrate and phosphate levels can be measured using CHEMetrics multi-analyte photometer.

Length of Program:  This program is available in a 1-day or 2-day format. The 3-day format is an option, but not recommended.
For each available format, the program is conducted within the following time considerations:
1-day format:  Day One:  2.5 - 3 hour period.
2-day format:  Day One:  Traditional class period.  Day Two:  Double class period.
3-day format:  Day One, Two, Three:  Traditional class periods each day.

Site Requirements:  Access to flowing river or stream

Cost:  None.  All equipment, teaching materials, and technology are provide free of charge.

Full program description, learning objectives, 2010 Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Math and Excellence in Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (Pre K - 12)

 

Biological Assessment of Stream Water Quality

Description:  As one component of water quality research, students collect, identify, and analyze benthic macroinvertebrate populations.  Hester Dendy samplers are placed in streams two weeks prior to collection and removed the day of the program or students will properly collect samples during the field activity.  Using dichotomous keys, flow charts, and interpretive macroinvertebrate identification software, students identify and count different macroinvertebrate species, categorize them based on pollution tolerance, and create distribution graphs.  This information is analyzed to draw conclusions about local stream water.  

Length of Program:  This program is available in a 1-day, 2-day or 3-day format.
For each available format, the program is conducted within the following time considerations:
1-day format:  Day One:  2.5 - 3 hour period.
2-day format:  Day One:  Traditional class period.  Day Two:  Double class period.
3-day format:  Day One, Two, Three:  Traditional class periods each day.

Site Requirements:  Access to flowing river or stream

Cost:  None.  All equipment, teaching materials, and technology are provide free of charge.

Full program description, learning objectives, 2010 Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Math and Excellence in Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (Pre K - 12)

 

Groundwater Analysis

Description:  Students explore the water cycle and investigate unseen characteristics of groundwater.   Acting as scientists, they use CHEMetrics multi-analyte photometers and Vernier LabQuest handhelds and sensors to measure pH, temperature, chloride, hardness, iron, and nitrate.  Students conduct simple percolation tests to measure soil infiltration rates, observe soil cores nearthe well, make qualitative observations, and use collected data to draw conclusions about area groundwater quality.

Length of Program:  This program is available in a 1-day, 2-day or 3-day format.
For each available format, the program is conducted within the following time considerations:
1-day format:  Day One:  2.5 - 3 hour period.
2-day format:  Day One:  Traditional class period.  Day Two:  Double class period.
3-day format:  Day One, Two, Three:  Traditional class periods each day.

Site Requirements:  Onsite groundwater well or pump accessible for programming

Cost:  None.  All equipment, teaching materials, and technology are provide free of charge.

Full program description, learning objectives, 2010 Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Math and Excellence in Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (Pre K - 12)

 

Algal Bloom Investigation

Description:  Students determine the likelihood that an algal bloom will occur on their school site stream or pond by identifying and assessing certain physical, chemical and biological components believed to be associated with algal blooms.   Students use Vernier LabQuest scientific handhelds and sensors to measure pH, dissolved oxygen, and temperature.  Additional physical and chemical parameters— flow rate, nitrates/phosphates, load rates, light intensity levels—are estimated using nutrient testing kits, light sensors and various field techniques.  Using personal observation skills, students look for biological indicators and note relevant environmental conditions including air temperature, cloud cover, seasonal/weather conditions, habitat alterations, and potential land use inputs.

Length of Program:  This program is available in a 1-day or 2-day format. The 3-day format is an option, but not recommended.
For each available format, the program is conducted within the following time considerations:
1-day format:  Day One:  2.5 - 3 hour period.
2-day format:  Day One:  Traditional class period.  Day Two:  Double class period.
3-day format:  Day One, Two, Three:  Traditional class periods each day.  

Site Requirements:  Access to river, stream, pond or other body of water.

Cost:  None.  All equipment, teaching materials, and technology are provide free of charge.

Full program description, learning objectives, 2010 Indiana Academic Standards for Science and Math and Excellence in Environmental Education - Guidelines for Learning (Pre K - 12)