Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Session 2

Date: July 15th 2015                                                                                                                               Time:  2:00pm- 3:00pm (approximately)                                                                                            Location: Manlius Library                                                                                                                        
Total Students: 22                                                                                                                                     

            Today was centered around teaching the kids about macroinvertebrates and how they can be utilized as water quality indicators. Prior to class we went to Limestone Creek and collected some of the critters to be used as live samples for them to observe. As the kids walked in we gave them each a folder (with the Izaak Walton League sticker on it!), inside they were provided charts on macroinvertebrate identification as well as charts that divided the macroinvertebrates into their levels of tolerance to polluted waters. (There was also a word search puzzle included, something which we should have handed out at the end- as they got a little distracted).
            Before today’s activities, the kids were presented with a graphic of a stream that flowed from the mountains, through the rural/somewhat suburbanized land, and into the city. It was divided into 3 sections in which the critters lived: ‘sensitive,’ ‘somewhat-sensitive,’ and ‘tolerant.’ The kids were all given a macroinvertebrate on a card, and by looking at the charts they had in their folder, they had to determine which section theirs lived in. This gave them a quick overview of our impact on a watershed and how different levels of pollution make way for different types of creatures.
            We then divided into groups of 5, where the kids would go to one of the four stations we had set up. One of the stations had several containers of the live samples we collected earlier. We had a variety of tools (plenty of different types of magnifying glasses) that allowed them to take a closer look at what we caught for them today! They loved it. The other tables had our preserved specimen that the groups had a blast trying to identify! Each group rotated through each of the tables allowing them to experience it all. They all enthusiastically gathered around looking at these strange creatures- this activity was perfect for them to get exposed to what we will be finding next week.
            We finished off with a quick overview of all the fun things we learned today. Seeing that they were going to be applying what they learned today during next week’s stream expedition (if the weather holds up- we plan to take the crew to Limestone Creek where they can search and lean about macroinvertebrates in the environment) everyone was quite attentive and eager to learn! This was without a doubt a success, as we finished the day with positive feedback from numerous parents as well as the participants. 

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