The Tech 21 9th grade Environmental Biology class recently did a field study on both Cedar Creek and the Rogue River. The students performed water quality indices and biotic indices at 6 different locations along these streams. In this study students are learning many concepts. They are getting a chance to see that science doesn’t always happen in a lab or classroom and that they need to be able to work effectively as a team. Students are also learning that water quality is something that is important to us all and something that we should be concerned with maintaining, since only 1% of of the world’s water is fresh and available to humans for consumption.
The students finally will be required to write a large formal lab report where they will create electronic tables and graphs using netbook computers and write evidence-based conclusions comparing the water quality of the different locations sampled. Finally, they will make recommendations for needed areas of improvement and further study in local water quality. The water quality results will be given to GVSU and Groundswell, and these organizations will then use the results for their own water quality monitoring.
This trip would not have been possible if it were not for a grant written by the Tech 21 teachers and awarded by the Kent ISD’s service learning program, which is headed by Steve Dielman. Thanks also goes to CSPS for providing transportation and opportunities for learning outside the classroom. Lastly, thanks goes to the LEAGUE Michigan organization, which recently helped us write another grant to help keep this wonderful project sustainable for next year.