On a beautiful fall day, 22 third graders from Warner Elementary School joined Wilmington State Parks naturalists for some hands-on citizen science related to World Water Monitoring Day. This event is an international education and outreach program that builds public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.
The third grade students began their water experiments at Brandywine River in Brandywine Park, part of Wilmington State Parks. This historic park is within walking distance from Warner Elementary School, an urban Title I school. During this STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) based program the students measured the temperature, turbidity, pH and % dissolved oxygen of the Brandywine River.
Every student was actively involved, taking measurements, using scientific equipment and recording the data. After the data was recorded the groups had energetic discussions, each group then reported their results to the class. As a wrap up, the class reviewed the activities leading the students to make connections between the health of the Brandywine and the health of their environment.
Afterwards, I entered the data collected at the World Water Monitoring Day website and shared the link with the teacher. She is able to bring up the data and data map showing other sites on the smart board in their classroom. This helps students see the real world impact of their science lesson. To find our data go to http://wwmd.wsol.net/outpost/map.aspx and type in Brandywine Park in the search box and then click on the marker.
Liz Androskaut, Lead Naturalist
Alapocas Run and Wilmington State Parks