Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Session 5 - Physical and Chemical Analysis of Stream

Limestone Creek / Mill Run Park

August 5, Last event of Summer Naturalist Program

We had approximately 20 kids (ranging from elementary to middle school, good mix of male / female and ethnic groups).  We had approximately 4 adults (parents ) and one high school interns for a 1 hour session on being a young naturalist. 

The weather was partly cloudy with an air temperature about 70 degrees.  Our goal was to demonstrate some physical tests and chemical tests to determine the health of a stream. As students arrived in the parking lot they were shown an airphoto map and GIS topographic map on the Limestone Watershed. Before the students arrived Derrick (CCE ) and Diana (ESF intern) did some physical measurements (depth, width) and set up the string with clothspins to conduct the velocity / stream speed test (dropping balls and timing travel time).  

Once all students arrived, An overview was given of the summer program and the day’s objectives. An anticipation guide, True / False questions were handed out to student to guess some possible answers to the tests that would be conducted today - such as  - Chlorides are impacted by road salt.  Derrick then led the physical and chemical measurements. Some students dropped the balls, other students caught the balls, and others were the official timers. One student was selected to record the measurements.  The findings were then summarized. 

Derrick then led the chemical testing, with a Dissolved Oxygen test, students collected water samples, and conducted the test . Before and after he discussed the importance of dissolved Oxgyen to life in stream.  Water Temperature readings were then taken by groups to then determine the Saturated Ox levels in the stream. Derrick discussed its importance and how environmental factors can cause a stream to become oversaturated (above 100%), and why too much Ox might be bad.

 Time became a factor so students broke into groups with some conducting Chloride tests and Dissolved Solid tests. Time ran out to do the Turbidty tests.

The session concluded at about 3:05 with students being given a multiple choice quiz to take home and that the answers could be determined by going to the Project Watershed website.